Devadasi in India

The Devadasi have only been reported 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

Each year, girls as young as 10 from the Devadasi caste are dedicated to a temple goddess, Uligamma, in a wedding ceremony that begins a lifetime of prostitution. Devadasis believe that when the girl is wed in the temple, the spirit of Uligamma inhabits her for a lifetime.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Actual possessions have been reported, but girls have been known to be set free by Jesus. When Hindu priests and other men sleep with these girls, they believe they are actually sleeping with the goddess herself. The girls are used until they are too sick or too old to be desirable. Then they are expected to fend for themselves as best they can through menial labor or begging on the streets. There are official laws against child prostitution, but traditions die hard, and girls in remote villages don't even know about laws enacted hundreds of miles away.

There are people who greatly profit by this practice that ruins many lives, and they will do whatever they can to keep this lucrative trade in place. It is highly secretive, since most people in India, including most Hindus, disapprove of temple prostitution.

There are ministries like Mission India that help women from the Devadasi caste learn new trades while teaching them the ways of Christ.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Officially these women are Hindu. As you can imagine, they probably have a very negative view of their religious system and the gods they worship.


What Are Their Needs?

Devadasis need to understand the dignity and worth God gives them because they are created in his image. This dignity has been stripped from them by the degrading lifestyle forced on them for generations.


Prayer Points

Pray that these women will be able to overcome the trauma, bitterness, hatred, and fear that they have had to deal with in their past life. Pray that many will live victorious lives in Christ that will draw others to Him. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and embolden outreaches to the Devadasis.

Pray that more and more Devadasi women will hear the good news of Jesus and be free and healed to serve Him.


Scripture Prayers for the Devadasi in India.


References

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2015/09/05

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2015/09/04


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Devadasi
People Name in Country Devadasi
Alternate Names Atumpatram; Bogam; Guni; Kalavanthu; Kalavathu Devadasi; Kurmapu; Sani; देवदासी
Population this Country 25,000
Population all Countries 25,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 16683
ROP3 Code 111904
ROP25 Code 302031
ROP25 Name Devadasi
Country India
Region Asia, South
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 5
Largest States
Andhra Pradesh
10,000
Karnataka
8,500
Tamil Nadu
3,900
Kerala
1,800
Odisha
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 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  Andhra Pradesh 10,000
  Karnataka 8,500
  Tamil Nadu 3,900
  Kerala 1,800
  Odisha 600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
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.
Primary Language Kannada (8,400 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
Telugu
8,300
Tamil
2,300
Malayalam
1,400
Odia
500
Primary Language Kannada (8,400 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
  Telugu 8,300
  Tamil 2,300
  Malayalam 1,400
  Odia 500
People Groups Speaking Kannada

Primary Language:  Kannada

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1988)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1823-2023)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1827-2023)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) 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 Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kannada 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 Story of Jesus for Children 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 Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
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.