Binjhia in India


Population
180,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Binjhwari, also known as the Binjhal, live in several states: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, and West Bengal. It is uncertain as to whether their native language, called Binjhwari, is of Dravidian or Indo-Aryan origin. Many of the Binjhwari are bilingual, speaking both Binjhwari and Chhattisgarhi.

In the eastern state of West Bengal, the Binjhwari own their own farms. They are described as, "quiet, unwarlike people, flat-faced and black, of good physique, and wearing their hair in matted locks." For years, Hinduism has been the dominating influence in the lives of the Binjhwari. Both their homes and their clothes are made in Hindu fashion. The Binjhwari are a part of the complex Hindu caste system, which has divided the people into an endless number of social classes. One's caste is determined at birth, according to Hindu standards of social and religious purity.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Binjhwari are rural farmers. For them, land has both economical value and social status. The main crop is rice (grown in a flooded field). They also grow some winter vegetables such as tomatoes, chilies, cucumbers, and pumpkins. They learned their farming techniques from neighboring Hindu tribes. Weeding is usually done by the women.

Many of the Binjhwari have no land of their own, and work others' land as hired laborers. Some work on a daily wage basis, while others work on yearly contracts. The daily laborers are either paid in cash or in rice.

The Binjhwari are basically self-sufficient, living on what they raise in their gardens. Although they do not depend on the weekly markets for their food, they do visit the markets to purchase items such as salt, kerosene, tobacco, dried fish, and cloth.

The Binjhwari villages are medium in size, consisting of 20 to 50 families. Each family lives in one or two roomed mud houses with thatched roofs. The tiny huts line both sides of the main village street. Overall, their living conditions are not very sanitary. Their goats and fowl are allowed to roam freely inside.

The Binjhwari have no tradition of organized government. Unlike many other tribal groups, they have no formal village council. Instead, the elderly villagers deal with any social issues or conflicts that arise. Final decisions are made by all of the adult villagers.

Binjhwari men and women must wait until they are adults before they are married. Marriages are not arranged; young adults are free to choose their future mates. Weddings always begin on Sundays and last for several days.

Binjhwari women are fond of wearing jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, and armlets made of silver, brass, and beads. Beaded necklaces are their favorite.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Because the Binjhwari have had much contact with Hindus, they are classified as a Hindu tribe. Though they have adopted many Hindu gods and goddesses, they also still practice a form of their own ethnic religion. Their supreme deity, Bindya Basini, is represented by a stone in the shape of a woman. They believe she looks after the welfare of the Binjhwari, protecting them from all danger. Many other gods are also kept in their homes. Offerings of raw rice, milk, sweets, liquor, and fruit are continually made to these gods. Also, at the birth of a family's first child, a goat is sacrificed.

Ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors) is another common practice. Because the Binjhwari believe that their ancestors are reborn as children, children are worshipped at a festival once a year.


What Are Their Needs?

Quality laborers are one of the greatest needs. There is also a great need for Christian resources to be made available to these people.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord of the harvest to thrust forth many laborers to live and work among the Binjhwari.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the few known Binjhwari Christians.
* Pray that God will begin using these new converts to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to call forth prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a vigorous Binjhwari church for the glory of His name!


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Binjhia
People Name in Country Binjhia
Population in India 180,000
World Population 185,700
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 3
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Bijori, Bijoria, Binjhwar, Binjoa, Brijia, Brijlal, Brinjlat, Vindhyaaniwasi, Vindhyabasini Kshatriya, Vindyaniwasi, बिंझिया
People ID 16489
ROP3 Code 111659
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 9
Largest States
Chhattisgarh
120,000
Madhya Pradesh
18,000
Jharkhand
14,000
Odisha
11,000
Maharashtra
9,000
West Bengal
3,100
Tripura
3,100
Assam
600
Goa
20
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 9
  Chhattisgarh 120,000
  Madhya Pradesh 18,000
  Jharkhand 14,000
  Odisha 11,000
  Maharashtra 9,000
  West Bengal 3,100
  Tripura 3,100
  Assam 600
  Goa 20
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (83,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Chhattisgarhi
47,000
Marathi
21,000
Odia
19,000
Bijori
5,200
Bengali
4,100
Sadri
1,500
Kurux
1,200
Mundari
1,000
Assamese
200
Gondi, Northern
100
Kharia
90
Punjabi, Eastern
70
Santhali
40
Halbi
30
Kannada
30
Other People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (83,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Chhattisgarhi 47,000
  Marathi 21,000
  Odia 19,000
  Bijori 5,200
  Bengali 4,100
  Sadri 1,500
  Kurux 1,200
  Mundari 1,000
  Assamese 200
  Gondi, Northern 100
  Kharia 90
  Punjabi, Eastern 70
  Santhali 40
  Halbi 30
  Kannada 30
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2000)
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 A Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video A Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Aasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Coconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Fathers Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Haqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Ten Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video The Final Prodigal (Indigitube.tv)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.04 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.95 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
93.88 %
Islam
0.06 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.02 %
Unknown
4.05 %
Photo Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
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.




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