Barwala (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Barwala people belong to a Dalit people group in the northern part of India. A tiny group of Hindu Barwala resides in northern Pakistan. Most Hindu Barwala live in India's far northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. During the reign of the Moguls most Barwala converted to Islam. During the British colonial period Barwala were deprived of their lands. At the time of the Partition of India in 1947 most Muslim Barwala moved to Pakistan while the Hindu Barwala relocated to India.
The Hindu Barwala in Pakistan speak Western Punjabi as their first language. Many of the men also can speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. The New Testament and the Jesus Film are available in Western Punjabi. There are few if any believers among the Barwala in Pakistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Hindu Barwala live in rural areas. Traditionally they have worked as village watchmen and messengers, bearing torches and carrying palanquins at weddings. Today most of them are engaged in agriculture working on land owned by higher castes. Barwala women make mats and fans from dried leaves.
The Barwalas live mainly in nuclear households. The oldest son becomes the head of the household. They allow for divorce and remarriage. The Barwala marry within their group. Families choose spouses with the consent of the young people. Many of the Barwala either do not attend school or quit school early in order to help their family make a living. As a result, many Barwala are unable to read and write.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most if not all of the Barwala in India are Hindu, but a small number are in Pakistan. Most of the Barwala people in Pakistan are Muslim.
Hinduism is the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

The Barwala people need opportunities to make a better living. They need new job skills. They also need to understand that though they are from a low status community, that the God of creation gives them dignity and value. Jesus Christ alone can forgive their sins and give them a new purpose for living.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Barwala will hear and understand the good news about Jesus Christ.
Pray that they will understand that God gave them dignity through the sacrifice of his son.
Pray for a movement to Christ among both Barwala religious communities in Pakistan and India.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of Barwala community leaders, opening the door for the gospel.
Pray that Barwala parents are be able to provide for their children.

Scripture Prayers for the Barwala (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-10-21
People Name General Barwala (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Barwala (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation bar-VAH-lah
Alternate Names Barwar; Dalwatia; Doom; Dum Bantwal; Mandla; Narwalia; Payaliya; Radha; Radhthiya; Sanjwal; Soniyal; बरवाला (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 900
Population all Countries 65,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 16339
ROP3 Code 111475
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Punjab 900
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Punjabi, Western (900 speakers)
Language Code pnb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Punjabi, Western (900 speakers)
Language Code pnb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Punjabi, Western

Primary Language:  Punjabi, Western

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1885-1922)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1819-2021)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, New Testament DAVAR Partners International
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Punjabi, Western Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Punjabi, Western YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Cartoon Gospel tract General / Other
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Punjabi, Western Literacy & Evangelism International
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Copyrighted © 2023  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.