Introduction / History
The Vokkaliga or Vakkaliga are a large group of Hindu people who live in the south Indian state of Karnataka. Smaller groups live in other south Indian states. Their traditional occupations have been agriculture and animal husbandry. Many own the land they that farm while others work on land owned by others. The main language of the Vakkaliga is Kannada. Many resources exist in this south Indian language including a whole Bible and the Jesus Film. A tiny fraction claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Some of the educated Vakkaliga have left their villages and become involved in trade and business. Some have taken jobs in government and as teachers. Most Vakkaliga still work on farms growing wet rice, vegetables, fruit and palm and coconut trees. They supplement their income by raising cows for milk and goats, sheep and chicken for meat and sale. Families arrange the marriages of young people. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. The Vakkaliga hire Brahman priests to officiate at their important families ceremonies such as births, weddings and funerals. A caste council settles legal disputes and promote their interests with outsiders. As Hindus the Vakkaliga do not eat beef.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Vakkaliga practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Vakkaliga visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Vokkaliga people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday. The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories - Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras. Dalits and tribal peoples are outside of the caste system. The Vakkaliga fall within the Shudra or working caste.
What Are Their Needs?
The Vokkaliga need to experience the abundant life that only Jesus Christ can offer. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life. The Vokkaliga need to learn new job skills so they can raise their standard of living and provide for their families.
* Scripture Prayers for the Kunchatiga in India.
Pray that the Vakkaliga community will be able to support their families adequately and have access to good health care. Pray they will desire to worship the Creator, who loves them intensely and wants them to thrive in every way. Pray for a disciple making movement among them in this decade. Pray for Indian believers to go to the Vakkaliga and tell them about Jesus. Pray that gospel materials and the internet will lead them to start their own Discovery Bible Studies.