Introduction / History
In the thick forests and mineral rich land of the hilly part of the State of Jharkhand, live a number of different tribal groups. Asur is one of them. The Asur do not mingle freely with others, making it difficult for an outsider to enter their area and build friendships. Any outsider traveling in the region is viewed with suspicion as the area is known for militant activities.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most Asur children do not attend school, as school facilities are not easily available and they need to walk long distances to go to school. This keeps the literacy rates among the Asur very low. It is too bad that the schools are not closer since their attitude towards education is very positive.
Most of the hard working Asur earn their livelihood as day laborers in mines. In general, the living conditions of the Asur are good. Yet, there is a sharp contrast in the lifestyles and social levels of Christian Asur versus the others. Christians among them have better access to medical facilities, are better educated and have better knowledge about the outside world. There is need for developmental activities in the areas of education, social and medical facilities.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Asur speak a distinct language called Asuri but no portion of the Scripture is available. Having the Word of God in their language would be an asset in building the foundations of the Asur Church. They could then better understand the love of God and enable the remaining Asur to clearly understand the Gospel.
Traditionally, they follow animistic faith. A significant number of Asur, about 4000 of them, have responded to the Gospel and worship Jesus. The lack of God's Word in the Asuri language has diluted their understanding of Christian living. They have absorbed many of their ancestral worship forms into the Church.