Barua in India


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

Introduction / History

The name Barua is derived from two words, bara meaning “renowned” and ua meaning “ruler.” In ancient times, the most highly ranked military ruler of Chattagram under the king of Arakan was a man called Barua.

The Barua are unique among all the peoples of India in that they are Buddhists who speak a derivative of the Bengali language. Those living in Bangladesh as well as in parts of India speak Chatgaiyan (i.e. Chittagonian), a dialect of Bengali which has a similarity to Burmese, Assamese and Bengali, in vocabulary, phonology as well as enunciation. Although almost all Bengalis are Hindus or Muslims, for historical reasons that are not clear the Barua have survived as a Buddhist enclave in the midst of the two giants of Islam and Hinduism.

Several thousand people belonging to the Barua ethnic group live in the north-east India state of Tripura. They live intermingled in villages with people from other ethnicities, in the Sadar Subdivision of the West Tripura District (also known as Agartala) and the Udaipur Subdivision of the South Tripura District.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditionally the Barua earned their livelihood through farming, fishing and hunting. As waves of migrants have entered Tripura the number of wild animals has diminished, making hunting a fruitless exercise unless the participants are willing to trek deep into the forests. The Barua raise goats and chickens today as their main sources of protein. In recent decades, as education levels among them have improved, a number of Barua men and women have obtained jobs as office workers, teachers and administrators in the towns of Tripura.

After Barua women marry, they wear vermilion and conch-shell bangles as marriage symbols and as a sign of their unavailability to men. After marriage the couple lives in the home of the groom. Although either spouse can seek divorce, it is rare. Nowadays, the practice of paying bride-price in cash is being replaced by a dowry.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Perhaps the most fascinating mystery concerning the Barua people is their belief in Theravada Buddhism. The nearest Buddhist communities to them are probably the Chakma and other Theravada Buddhist peoples in the Chittagong Hill tracts of Bangladesh. Just how the Barua came to believe in Buddhism, and equally how they have managed to preserve their faith under pressure from all sides, is difficult to ascertain because they have no written history. Families linked with a Buddhist temple are brought under their traditional association, which is headed by a marubbi. They worship at the family level and participate in traditional festivals.

As the Barua have slowly lost their culture, their Buddhist beliefs have gradually become mixed with Hinduism. The Barua are now allowed to marry people from non-Buddhist communities such as the Brahmin, Kayastha and Magh, which means that Buddhism may become extinct among them in the next generation. There are no known Christian believers among this interesting and unique unreached people group.


What Are Their Needs?

The Barua people need to accept the warm embrace of the only savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives.


Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead the Barua people from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Barua in India.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Barua
People Name in Country Barua
Population this Country 1,500
Population all Countries 37,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Maramagri; Maramagyi; बरुआ
People ID 16382
ROP3 Code 111524
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Tripura
1,000
West Bengal
600
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Tripura 1,000
  West Bengal 600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (1,500 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bengali (1,500 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
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 Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Prophets' Story Create International
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well Create International
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen Create International
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
91.21 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
8.79 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
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. Read more