Introduction / History
In India, caste discrimination is forbidden by the constitution, but in actuality it pervades all religious and social structures. Socially, the most elite castes are called "forward castes," and among them are the 12 million Jats. Though most Jats are either Muslim or Hindu, those in the Punjab state are mainly Sikh (1). Among the Jats, there are sub-groups. The largest group is the Dhillon Jats, often called the Raja Jats due to the large number of kings, royalty, and warriors that have come from their clan. Its history dates back over 4,000 years with an impressive history in clan folklore. The Dhillon Dynasty probably founded India's capital city, Delhi, and ruled there from 800-283 B.C. The city's name is derived from the clan's name.
What Are Their Beliefs?
There is a strong Christian presence in India's Punjab State, home of most members of the Dhillon Jats. A church planting movement began in 2000 and had goals to have strong churches in each of its 12 districts, to have Christian workers based in each of its 491 pincode areas, and for every people group to have a church. Unfortunately, forward castes like the Jats are the least reached and least open to change. Caste is so important, especially in marriage, that some Jats advocate DNA testing to prove "Jatness" before the wedding.
|Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey|