Mahar (Hindu traditions) in India


Population
9,928,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Mahar people were historically a part of the Untouchables caste, the lowest caste in the Hindu social system. This classification caused the Mahar people to face extreme discrimination and legal restrictions on day-to-day activities, out of the fear that they might contaminate higher caste Hindus. These restrictions included items such as when they were allowed to be in the city, whether they were allowed to spit on the ground, and how loudly they were allowed to talk. The Mahar people worked primarily as low-skilled laborers and speak the Marathi language.

Beginning around 1900, the Mahar people experienced a slow social revolution where they began to become aware of and fight for more rights due to British influence. This culminated in the conversion of close to 500,000 Mahar individuals to Buddhism in 1956 led by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. Those that converted to Buddhism are typically not associated with the Mahar people group any longer.


Where Are they Located?

The Mahar people are primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, which is named after them. They can also be found in the surrounding Indian states. There are also small Mahar communities that can be found in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Originally, the Mahar people lived in primarily rural communities, but now are also common in urban areas.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In 1949, the Indian constitution outlawed discrimination against the lowest Hindu social class and the labeling of them as Untouchables. While this has helped the situation of those formerly in the Untouchables class, such as the Mahar people, they still face frequent residual discrimination.

Around the same time as the revolution led by Ambedkar, the Mahar people began to migrate to cities in search of work. They are often employed in low skilled labor such as masons, railway workers, bus/truck drivers, etc. In the rural areas, some Mahar people farm, though the Mahar people have never been an agricultural people group, likely due to their restricted access to land ownership.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahar people are primarily Hindu. They believe in the numerous Hindu gods and the reincarnation cycle based upon their good works. The Mahar also have a small Muslim presence. There have been small successes in evangelizing to the Mahar people, particularly during the social revolution around 1960. This led to small population of Christians amongst the Mahar.


What Are Their Needs?

Due to their historical and continual discrimination, the Mahar people face an uphill battle in daily life. Many struggle to obtain all the necessities of life. The Mahar people need both economic and social justice, in order to thrive.

Additionally, they need a spiritual revival. The country of India and the Hindu religion are not very tolerant to Christianity and converts. Christian Mahars will often face even further persecution or discrimination than what they experienced previously as Hindus.


Prayer Points

* Pray that God will begin restorative justice amongst the Mahar people, both socially and economically.
* Pray that God will raise up missionaries that have a heart for the Mahar people.
* Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Mahar people and that they will be responsive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will establish a thriving church amongst the Mahar people and will give the current Christians the strength to persevere and continue evangelizing.
* Pray for protection for the Mahar Christians from persecution.


Profile Source:   Levi Boxell  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-10-22
People Name General Mahar (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Mahar (Hindu traditions)
Population in India 9,928,000
World Population 9,939,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 198
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 5  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Abne, Amadha, Anantkulia, Andvan, Antyaja, Atishudra, Atisudra, Autkamble, Bhumia, Bhumiputra, Bhuyal, Chokhamela, Chokhapur, Dahia, Deharia, Dharnicheput, Dhed, Dhegu Megu, Domb, Holar, Holiya, Hulsava, Jharia, Kathivale, Mahar, Maharani, Maheri, Mahir, Mahobia, Mahri, Mala, Mehra, Mhar, Mhetre, Mirasi, Nahria, Parvari, Potraj, Taral, Thorlegharche, Tigda, Veskar, Yesker, महार (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 17405
ROP3 Code 112805
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Marathi-Konkani
People Group Mahar (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25j
Total Subgroups on file 47
Largest Subgroups
(only 15 largest shown)
Andvan
53,000
Soma
44,000
Ladvan
41,000
Bavane
36,000
Dhed
33,000
Pan
28,000
Tilvan
26,000
Tigda
25,000
Gopal
24,000
Kamble
22,000
Bel
18,000
Bunkar
18,000
Ghadshi
18,000
Holar
18,000
Pradhan
18,000
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Marathi-Konkani
People Group Mahar (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25j
Total Subgroups 47 (only 15 largest shown)
  Andvan 53,000
  Soma 44,000
  Ladvan 41,000
  Bavane 36,000
  Dhed 33,000
  Pan 28,000
  Tilvan 26,000
  Tigda 25,000
  Gopal 24,000
  Kamble 22,000
  Bel 18,000
  Bunkar 18,000
  Ghadshi 18,000
  Holar 18,000
  Pradhan 18,000
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 30
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Maharashtra
8,511,000
Madhya Pradesh
852,000
Chhattisgarh
294,000
Karnataka
83,000
West Bengal
46,000
Gujarat
41,000
Odisha
32,000
Telangana
31,000
Goa
17,000
Rajasthan
6,400
Tripura
3,500
Tamil Nadu
3,100
Delhi
2,900
Uttar Pradesh
1,500
Kerala
1,100
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 30  (only 20 largest shown)
  Maharashtra 8,511,000
  Madhya Pradesh 852,000
  Chhattisgarh 294,000
  Karnataka 83,000
  West Bengal 46,000
  Gujarat 41,000
  Odisha 32,000
  Telangana 31,000
  Goa 17,000
  Rajasthan 6,400
  Tripura 3,500
  Tamil Nadu 3,100
  Delhi 2,900
  Uttar Pradesh 1,500
  Kerala 1,100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Marathi (8,519,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 19
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
726,000
Chhattisgarhi
161,000
Konkani
147,000
Konkani, Goan
111,000
Ahirani
99,000
Khandesi
85,000
Bengali
48,000
Odia
23,000
Gujarati
11,000
Nimadi
8,800
English
3,200
Sindhi
2,500
Telugu
2,200
Malvi
1,900
Kannada
1,700
Other People Groups Speaking Marathi
Primary Language Marathi (8,519,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 19
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 726,000
  Chhattisgarhi 161,000
  Konkani 147,000
  Konkani, Goan 111,000
  Ahirani 99,000
  Khandesi 85,000
  Bengali 48,000
  Odia 23,000
  Gujarati 11,000
  Nimadi 8,800
  English 3,200
  Sindhi 2,500
  Telugu 2,200
  Malvi 1,900
  Kannada 1,700
People Groups Speaking Marathi

Primary Language:  Marathi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1807-1957)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1982)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1821-2002)
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 Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Marathi
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 Marathi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
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
Text / Printed Matter Bible: मराठी - Marathi
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
53.55 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.12 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
46.32 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Levi Boxell  
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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