Mech in Bangladesh

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Centuries ago, the sub-Himalayan regions of Assam and Bengal were settled by Bodo-Kachari peoples who migrated into the area. The story goes that, during the migration, they split, marching in two directions: One along the river Brahmaputra to Assam, the other to the West along the Himalayan foothills to the river Mechi, the border between India and Nepal. The first group spread up to Goalpara, and into regions of the Jalpaiguri district and Cooch Behar, under the name Bodo or Boro. Today, these peoples are known as Mech.
The Mech have not always been Hindu, but while living under Brahmin influence, the Mech embraced the religion and took Hindu surnames for themselves. Although they have mixed with other peoples, they have retained traditional social class divisions, or septs. These include classes of priests, warriors, and farmers. The divisions are not to be mistaken for castes, as there is no prohibition against intermarriage or eating together.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Mech marry within their own tribe and between any of their septs. Women are forbidden to engage in any premarital sexual activity, and any sexual offenses are heavily punished. Husbands generally have great respect for their wives, who have absolute control over the household affairs and are consulted in all family and social matters. Most households consist of extended families, as the sons bring their wives home after marriage. Fathers are responsible for training their sons in economic skills, and mothers train their daughters in household duties.
In the early 1900s, the Mech were nomadic people, practicing slash and burn agriculture. There were few people and much land; thus, this type of erratic agriculture did not affect things like it would today. However, as the populations grew, they settled into permanent farmers, using bulls and plows in their cultivation of the soil. Rice has been their principal cash crop, but they are also experts in growing the areca nut and betel leaves, two powerful stimulants. Maize is also cultivated as an additional food supplement.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mech religious beliefs are a blend of animism (belief that non-human objects have spirits) and Hinduism. Like many tribes, their idea of gods developed from the concept of "dynamism" or "power." Anything that appeared to possess superhuman power was regarded as an object of worship. The Mech worshipped-and still worship-the rivers, forests, celestial bodies, snakes, and certain plants. Tree-worship is an important custom, for every tree is a symbol of life. The Mech believe that trees have souls like their own and that the tree-soul is capable of being transferred to humans and animals. The great god of the Mech-the Bathou (the Euphorbia plant)-is worshipped in every Mech household. Most of the ancient Mech gods now have Vedic names but have retained the old, animistic qualities.
The Mech have a close affinity with the earth, referring to it as the "human mother." Harvests cannot be fruitful, they believe, without first worshiping the Great Mother through the offering of animal sacrifice and performance of ritual dance.
Except for the use of lumps of dirt in the worship of the earth, the Mech traditionally have no idols. However, Hindu culture has had an influence, and idols of the Mech gods are now more common.

What Are Their Needs?

As in most animistic cultures, the Mech live in fear of the spirits of nature. Only through appeasement can they have peace or success in life, but no one is sure when or if the spirits are appeased. The Mech need liberation from such oppressive beliefs. Their culture is also in great economic transition. A large percentage of Mech have encumbered unmanageable debt and may face lives of poverty in the future.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Mech in Bangladesh.

Pray for the Lord to work among the Mech people to free them from fear and spiritual death.
Pray for the Lord to get through to Mech elders so they can open the door to allow the King of kings to enter their families and communities.
There are believers among some of the Mech people in Nepal but not Bangladesh. Pray Mech believers will take Christ to the others.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Mech people.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Mech
People Name in Country Mech
Population this Country 1,000
Population all Countries 61,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bodo Kacari; Boro; Kachari; Kachari Mech; Mec; Meche; मेच
People ID 17526
ROP3 Code 112946
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 31  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 31  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Rajshahi 600
  Rangpur 200
  Chittagong 200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (1,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bengali (1,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1832-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Bangla Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Mussolmani Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament- Common Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Bengali
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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