Introduction / History
Bhoi is the name of a people group who were traditionally fishermen, boat people and litter carriers. Since most of the major rivers in South Central Asia now have bridges over them, the traditional occupation of the Bhoi has declined. Also, there is no need for litter carriers.
What Are Their Lives Like?
A landless and mostly illiterate people group, they are considered a low caste of people. In India the Bhoi are a scheduled caste meaning that they are eligible for special preference in government jobs and college entrance.
The Bhoi of Pakistan speak Sindhi are their primary language. Some of the men are able to speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. The New Testament and the JESUS Film are available in Sindhi.
They reside in India, southeastern Pakistan and Nepal.
The Bhoi are mostly a landless and illiterate people group. Their main occupation today is that of agricultural workers. They also served as palanquin or litter carriers for royalty during the days of colonial India.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Few Bhoi have access to modern medicine. Their life expectancy is low. If crops fail, the Bhoi are subject to starvation. The Bhoi marry among themselves. Families arrange marriages. If a Bhoi child is able to attend school, they often quit at a young age in order to help their family make a living. Bhoi tend to have many children in their families. They view sons and daughters as blessings from Allah.
The majority of the Bhoi are Hindus. Some Bhoi people are Sunni Muslims. They 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 that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, 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 we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
The Bhoi people group needs the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer. They also need new job skills and access to modern medicine. They need to see the love of Christ shown to them in practical ways.
Pray that God will release a spiritual yearning in the hearts of the Bhoi people that only Christ can fill.
Pray that Bhoi hearts will be opened to receive the words of life.
Ask the Lord to send workers to the Bhoi.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Muslim Bhoi people in Pakistan in this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Bhoi (Muslim traditions) in Pakistan.