Introduction / History
The Mochi caste is considered by some to be a branch of the Chamar caste, but the Mochi have repudiated that, considering themselves to be a separate caste of higher status than the Chamar. Chamar people process the hides, while the Mochi make leather products out of this raw product. In the past, some of the Mochi were involved with removing carrion and selling the bones and hides. The Mochi are subdivided into subgroups and clans, and there is a social ranking system between the subgroups.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Mochi people live primarily in India and Bangladesh, but there are smaller communities in Nepal and Pakistan.
Making leather products is what the Mochi community is known for. They are spared the stench of processing leather like the Chamars, but their status is almost as low. Any Hindu community that deals with dead matter, especially from the sacred cow, has low status. Some of them escape this stigma by producing bricks or baskets. Their important marriage ritual involves walking around a sacred fire.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Mochi people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
The Mochi are widely spread throughout most of South Asia. It will likely require much effort and expense to reach all of them with the gospel. Perhaps the Mochi believers in India will grow in numbers and spiritual maturity to the extent they can effectively take the good news of Jesus to all their own people, not only in India but in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well.
A number of people in the Mochi community have reported themselves as Christians to the census of India. Please pray these Christians will learn to quickly confess sin as needed and will learn to live in the power of the Lord's Spirit. Pray for this low status caste to be able to improve their lot in life, with rising educational levels. Pray especially for children to gain skills to make them employable. Pray for a harvest of souls among the Mochi families in Bangladesh. Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Mochi people that will only be satisfied by Jesus Christ.
Scripture Prayers for the Mochi (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.