Faqir in Sri Lanka

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

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.

Where Are they Located?

Faqirs are found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

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.

What Are Their Beliefs?

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.

What Are Their Needs?

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.

Prayer Points

* 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
World Population 123,500
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
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
People ID 16762
ROP3 Code 112012
Country Sri Lanka
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Sri Lanka
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Telugu (1,300 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Telugu
Primary Language Telugu (1,300 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Telugu

Primary Language:  Telugu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes   (1812-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes   (1818-1989)
Bible-Complete Yes   (1854-2002)
Bible-NT Audio 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 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 Bible Visuals
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
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
51.13 %
48.87 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2017  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Religion Values * From Sri Lanka census data.  Current values may differ.

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