How would you like your name to be poverty? How would you like to be known as "having too little?" That's what the Faqirs of South Asia face each day. The word faqir comes from the Arabic word for poverty. It is an appropriate title for a physically and spiritually impoverished people. Although the Faqiir ascetics have their roots in Islam, roughly half are Hindus in both India and Sri Lanka.
Faqirs are found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
Faqirs spend much of their time trying to get people's attention through begging and by doing strange magic tricks. Oddly enough, they regard themselves as self-sufficient. They renounce human relationships and possessions, and take on vows of poverty and extreme worship.
These people look either to Allah (Sufi Muslims) or any number of gods (Hindus).
As members of the Sufi order of Islam, the Faqirs have long mixed folk religions with Muslim beliefs. Those who live in India and Sri Lanka have blended Hindu practices with folk-Islamic beliefs. They developed a reputation as ascetics; walking barefoot on coals, sleeping on beds of nails, and levitating.
Many feared them for their ability to invoke curses. Today, however, the Faqirs are looked down upon by their countrymen. Their name has become a derogatory term synonymous with worthlessness.
The Faqirs continue to face extreme need, especially with regard to the gospel. The "poverty" implied in their name originally referred to a hunger for relationship with God. That hunger remains unsatisfied. There are currently no known believers among the Faqirs in Sri Lanka. Most likely no one is reaching out to them in Sri Lanka.
* Pray that the Faqirs will realize their need and respond to God's provision. Ask God to change their name from "poverty" to "abundance" as they receive the free gift of his son.
* Pray that God will give them a heart that will strive for physical and spiritual improvement so that they will be open to embracing the word of God.
* Pray that the church will take seriously the needs of the Faqirs in Sri Lanka by committing themselves to impacting them with the gospel.
|Profile Source: Keith Carey|
|People Name General||Faqir|
|People Name in Country||Faqir|
|Population in Sri Lanka||1,300|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Alternate Names||Bava, Bhenrihar, Darvesh, Fakir, Faqirani, Fhakir Budbudki, Gareri, Ghanta Fhakirlu, Ghanti Fhakir, Pir, Sai, Sain, Sayee, Shah, Turaka Budbudiki, फ़क़ीर|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||45 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Specialized Website||South Asia Peoples|
|Primary Language||Telugu (1,300 speakers)|
|Language Code||tel Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|People Groups||Speaking Telugu|
Primary Language: Telugu
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1818-1989)|
|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||Fathers Love Letter|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)|
|Audio Recordings||Oral Bible stories in Telugu|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Following Jesus (India, JF Project)|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Telugu|
|Film / Video||Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)|
|Film / Video||The Hope Video|
|Film / Video||The Pearl of Great Price (Indigitube.tv)|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||God's Simple Plan|
|General||Got Questions Ministry|
|Mobile App||Download Bible from Google Play Store|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible|