The Oriya caste is unusual in that only one language is spoken, the Oriya language. Many castes speak the Oriya language, however. They use the Oriya script for written communication. They claim to be some of the earliest settlers in Odisha state. The Oriya caste has two subgroups, Bendatiya and Kalandi. Each subgroup is divided into several clans and lineages, with associated surnames. They marry only within their own subgroup, but often marry across clans. Vermilion (red or scarlet pigment) and glass bangles (bracelets) are the symbols of married women. The Oriya are mostly involved with farming and the production of livestock. They use irrigation, chemical fertilizers, and insecticides. Crematoria and water sources are shared with other Hindu communities.
Persecution of Christians is worse in Odisha than anywhere else in India. "Hindu extremist violence here is equaled only in Gujarat." Operation World 2010.
There is a wealth of good resources available in the Oriya language, including the full Bible and several good videos and recordings. Most of these are available on the internet. Please pray that some in the Oriya community will discover these, and will read, view, and listen. Pray the Lord will give them understanding and faith to believe.
Pray for the Followers of Christ
It is doubtful any of the Oriya caste are followers of Jesus the Messiah. However, it is not too early to pray for those who will soon find Jesus as their savior. Pray they will be able to withstand social pressure to revert to their earlier religion, and will become firmly settled on the Rock of their salvation.
Pray for the Entire People Group
Please pray many in this caste will be given a desire to know the creator God, and will not be satisfied with gods who do not offer forgiveness of sin or the promise of eternal life.