Introduction / History
The Musilm Bansphors or Basors are converts from Hinduism. The time and circumstances of their conversion is unclear. The large majority of Bansphors continue in the Hindu faith. The word Bansphor means "bamboo splitter" in Hindi. Most of the Muslim Bansphors live in India, though some are in Pakistan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The majority of the Muslim Bansphors in Pakistan continue in their traditional job of making bamboo furniture and household items. Some also work as landless agricultural laborers. Some young educated Bansphors have moved to cities and work in government and business careers. Most Bansphors still live in villages. The Bansphors fall within the Sudra caste, The Sudra are the lowest of the four main castes of Hinduism. The Bansphors sell their bamboo items at town markets and shops. The Muslim Bansphors marry within their group. They often marry cousins. Families arrange the marriages. They tend to practice adult marriage rather than child marriage. Monogamy or marriage to one spouse in the general rule while polygamy or a husband having more than one wife is accepted. The Bansphor sons inherit property from their parents. They live in extended families near or with the husband's parents.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Muslim Bansphors are Sunnis Muslims, the largest group within Islam. Along with Islam, they engage in folk religious practices like appeasing evil spirits. As Sunnis the Bansphor celebrate Muslim holidays such as Eid Al-Fitr, the end of the fast of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son.
What Are Their Needs?
The Bansphors need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They would benefit by having more vocational choices than making bamboo items and working as farm laborers. As a poorer group in Pakistani society, they need access to modern medicine and education.
* Scripture Prayers for the Bansphor (Muslim traditions) in Pakistan.
Pray that other Muslim background Indian followers of Christ would reach out to the Bansphors and help them begin their own church planting movement. Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive these Muslims to seek and find Jesus Christ. Pray for Bansphor elders to understand the value of Jesus Christ and open the doors for others in their community to follow Him.