Magar in Nepal


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  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-09-05
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-11-18
People Name General Magar
People Name in Country Magar
Population in Nepal 1,837,000
World Population 2,184,500
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 36
Alternate Names Bara Mangar, Eastern Magar, Gurkha, Magari, Mangar, Mangari, Thami, Thapa, मगर
People ID 11698
ROP3 Code 102848
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 25  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 14
Largest States
Lumbini
445,000
Rapti
324,000
Gandaki
221,000
Bagmati
150,000
Bheri
143,000
Dhaulagiri
134,000
Janakpur
106,000
Sagarmatha
84,000
Kosi
71,000
Narayani
61,000
Mechi
39,000
Seti
37,000
Mahakali
18,000
Karnali
5,400
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 25  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 14
  Lumbini 445,000
  Rapti 324,000
  Gandaki 221,000
  Bagmati 150,000
  Bheri 143,000
  Dhaulagiri 134,000
  Janakpur 106,000
  Sagarmatha 84,000
  Kosi 71,000
  Narayani 61,000
  Mechi 39,000
  Seti 37,000
  Mahakali 18,000
  Karnali 5,400
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (1,035,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Magar, Eastern
513,000
Magar, Western
276,000
Bhojpuri
18,000
Dotyali
15,000
Kham, Western Parbate
13,000
Maithili
4,300
Kham, Sheshi
3,400
Bantawa
2,200
Jerung
1,700
Kham, Gamale
1,600
Chamling
1,200
Musasa
1,100
Angika
700
Bote
600
Thulung
200
Other People Groups Speaking Nepali
Primary Language Nepali (1,035,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Magar, Eastern 513,000
  Magar, Western 276,000
  Bhojpuri 18,000
  Dotyali 15,000
  Kham, Western Parbate 13,000
  Maithili 4,300
  Kham, Sheshi 3,400
  Bantawa 2,200
  Jerung 1,700
  Kham, Gamale 1,600
  Chamling 1,200
  Musasa 1,100
  Angika 700
  Bote 600
  Thulung 200
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
10.49 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.28 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
86.80 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.15 %
Unknown
0.28 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Create International  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Nepal census data.  Current values may differ.


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