Magar in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Nepal is a small nation located along the southern part of the Himalayas, between India and China. It is home to approximately 300 ethnic groups who speak many different languages and have a wide variety of religious beliefs. Recently, Nepal has been transformed from a monarchy into a parliamentary form of government.

The Magar 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 the Tibetan culture. Some of the Magar 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.

There are two major groups of Magar (the Eastern and Western) and which are further divided into a number of clans. The Magar language, which is divided into four groups, gives the people a distinct tribal identity. This linguistic classification is important in understanding the Magar tribes.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Magar are craftsmen, although some who own their land have become farmers. Others work as miners, blacksmiths, or basket weavers. They tend to be hard-working, honest, self-reliant, and self-sufficient people. They are very jovial and love to sing and dance. They have several kinds of dances as well as tribal games that they frequently play.

The Eastern Magar typically live in large, two-story stone houses with slate or thatch roofs. The homes are often constructed with large porches in front.

The Eastern Magar have a unique style of dress. Most often, they wear loin cloths and bhotos (shirts with sleeves), or shirts and coats. The women also wear loin cloths called dhotis. They often adorn themselves with fulis (flower-like ear ornaments) in the middle parts of their ears and necklaces made of glass beads and silver Indian coins. Some aspects of western style clothing are slowly becoming more common.

Magar marriages are arranged in a unique fashion. The groom's brother-in-law must go to the bride's family and offer a "bride price" of money and alcohol. If the proposal is accepted, further payments are then made. Marriages to maternal first cousins are the most common arrangements.

The most distinctive element in the Magar family kinship is the strong bond between maternal uncles and their nephews. They treat each other with mutual respect because when the nephew is ready to marry, his bride will be chosen from among his uncle's daughters.

"Life cycle rituals" are a very important part of Magar society. A special birth ceremony is held eleven 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 Beliefs?

The great majority of the Magar practice ethnic religions, while the minority are practicing Hindus. Like other Magar groups, Hinduism has greatly influenced the Eastern Magar. Many now worship the three major Hindu gods: Brahma (creator of the universe), Vishnu (protector and preserver of the worlds), and Shiva (the destroyer), as well as a host of other deities.


What Are Their Needs?

The New Testament has been translated into the Eastern Magar language. However, the government of Nepal fiercely opposes any form of evangelism. Penalties against Christians sharing their faith have been harsh. Many believers have spent long periods of time in prison. Perhaps this explains why there are only a few known Eastern Magar believers.

Nepal has long been hidden away and forgotten by most of the world. The government of Nepal is opposed to any form of proselytizing; and so government restrictions apply, but most of the time Christians can follow their religion. There are more problems from family members than from the government.

Intercession is the key to breaking down the strongholds over these tribes and seeing them reached with the Light of the glorious Gospel.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the Lord of the harvest will thrust forth laborers into Nepal.
* Ask God to give the few Eastern Magar believers opportunities to share the Gospel with their own people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of Nepal's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Eastern Magar.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Magar
People Name in Country Magar
Population in India 343,000
World Population 2,184,500
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Unreached No
Progress Scale 2
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Bara Mangar, Eastern Magar, Gurkha, Magari, Mangar, Mangari, Thami, Thapa, मगर
People ID 11698
ROP3 Code 102848
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 25
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Assam
154,000
West Bengal
117,000
Sikkim
28,000
Meghalaya
20,000
Bihar
9,300
Himachal Pradesh
2,600
Manipur
2,600
Nagaland
2,500
Arunachal Pradesh
2,000
Uttar Pradesh
1,000
Mizoram
1,000
Tripura
700
Uttarakhand
700
Madhya Pradesh
500
Delhi
500
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 25  (only 20 largest shown)
  Assam 154,000
  West Bengal 117,000
  Sikkim 28,000
  Meghalaya 20,000
  Bihar 9,300
  Himachal Pradesh 2,600
  Manipur 2,600
  Nagaland 2,500
  Arunachal Pradesh 2,000
  Uttar Pradesh 1,000
  Mizoram 1,000
  Tripura 700
  Uttarakhand 700
  Madhya Pradesh 500
  Delhi 500
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (136,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 9
Secondary Languages
Assamese
87,000
Bengali
67,000
Magar, Eastern
23,000
Hindi
22,000
Maithili
2,600
Amri Karbi
1,000
Bhojpuri
800
Magahi
400
Other People Groups Speaking Nepali
Primary Language Nepali (136,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 9
Secondary Languages
  Assamese 87,000
  Bengali 67,000
  Magar, Eastern 23,000
  Hindi 22,000
  Maithili 2,600
  Amri Karbi 1,000
  Bhojpuri 800
  Magahi 400
People Groups Speaking Nepali

Primary Language:  Nepali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1850-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1914-2004)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
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 Jesus Film: view in Nepali
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video New Way - Naya Goreto (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video Until We Met (Indigitube.tv)
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible: नेपाली - Nepali
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter EasyBibles
Text / Printed Matter International Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
2.79 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
5.03 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
92.12 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.07 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Create International  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.


Copyright © 2018 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.