Magar in Bhutan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Magars are one of the oldest known tribes in Nepal; however, their origin is unclear. They are believed to be of Tibetan descent because their language and dances are similar to those within Tibetan cultures.

The Magars are divided into several groups: Western, Eastern, and Southern. As a people they speak both Nepali and their own language. Taken together, these groups number some seven percent of Nepal's population.

Where Are they Located?

Some of the Magar people live in the plains where the Himalayan hills begin. Others occupy the lower hills of the Mahabharat Lekh while a few inhabit the high-altitude mountain areas. Magar people live in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

These hardworking, self-sufficient, honest people make a living as craftsmen, farmers, miners, smiths, doctors, educators, civil servants, lawyers, journalists, and other occupations. Some are illiterate.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Magar people practice many religions including a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism, worshipping Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They also practice traditional animism. Less than one percent follow Jesus, and it is unclear how much of the New Testament is available to them in their language.

"Life cycle rituals" are a very important part of Magar society. A special birth ceremony is held 11 days after a child is born. The baby is named and then washed for the first time. One festival known as Jyestha Poornima is observed in May or June at the time of the full moon. During the ceremony, freshly harvested grains are offered to the gods.

What Are Their Needs?

These folk need Jesus. They need to worship the truth, not Hindu deities. They need the Bible in their heart language. They also need true religious freedom so they can put their faith in Jesus without being persecuted.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Magar in Bhutan.

* Pray for spiritual hunger among Magar people in Bhutan and Nepal.
* Pray that Christ-centered fellowships and a disciple making movement will take root in Magar society.
* Pray for the Bible to be translated and courage for the few Magar believers to be true to their faith.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Magar
People Name in Country Magar
World Population 2,116,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bara Mangar; Eastern Magar; Gurkha; Magari; Mangar; Mangari; Thami; Thapa; मगर
People ID 11698
ROP3 Code 102848
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Western 2,000
  Eastern 600
  Southern 200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Assamese
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Bengali Magar, Eastern Nepali
Primary Language Assamese
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Magar, Eastern
People Groups Speaking Assamese

Primary Language:  Assamese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1822-1974)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1819-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1833-1995)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Christassam recordings
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Assamese
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Path of Light
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible: অসমীয়া - Assamese
Text / Printed Matter Christ for the Nations
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter Online New Testament (Bibles India)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
25.10 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
74.90 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2020  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Bhutan census data.  Current values may differ.