Introduction / History
Masalchi people are a community of people in India and Bangladesh. Their name comes from the Hindi word "masala," referring to a common South Asian spice blend. They were cooks and assistant cooks for those in the government and in the military.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Because they have "untouchable" status, there is the stigma associated with this community, even those who live in Muslim Bangladesh. Caste affects Hindus the most, but it also affects Muslim peoples like the Masalchi in other parts of South Asia.
The Masalchi have their own dialect, but most of them speak the main trade language of Bangladesh, Bengali.
The Masalchi people still work in the food industry, and their skills as cooks are valued in India and Bangladesh. Some have managed to get better education so they can find jobs that pay better. They have their own forms of music and dance.
What Are Their Beliefs?
In Bangladesh, the Masalchi people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
What Are Their Needs?
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, common people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live on a daily basis. For that reason, some Muslims appease spirits using charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces. More orthodox Muslims consider these practices heretical and un-Islamic.
Like all other peoples of the world, this people group needs the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer.
Pray for the Lord to bless this community economically and spiritually.
Ask God to raise up Masalchi who are more desirous to know the truth than to stay on the broad road.
Ask God to send loving, committed workers to the Masalchi in the near future.
Pray the Masalchi would no longer be hidden away from the influence of Christ.
Pray for many of them to make disciples who will make even more disciples.
Scripture Prayers for the Masalchi in Bangladesh.