Paharia in India

The Paharia have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

Because of their tribal background and lack of literacy skills, people know very little about the history of the Paharias. The Paharias live mainly in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. There are also scattered groups of them in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. They have two subgroups.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Paharias are one of India's poorest tribes. The Indian government labels them a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. If they didn't have government welfare programs, many would starve. They used to have access to bamboo, which they used for weaving baskets, but today they need to walk for two days to find a good source of this resource. The Indian government is trying to find ways for them to earn a living by offering a couple of jobs, but ultimately, the Pardhis will need education and training.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Pahari are all Hindu and follow the basic Hindu customs and traditions. "Hinduism" has no founder, no prophet, and no instructional system. It is a way of living much more than a theology; it is a philosophy more than a religion. Contrary to popular belief in the West, Hinduism is not an ancient, fixed set of beliefs. Rather, it is a body of customs, practices, and beliefs that go through major changes every few hundred years.


The majority, though not all, of Hindus believe in a supreme being. Some respect all life and eat only vegetables, while others will gladly eat meat from sacrifices in the temple. To some, their religion is highly personal; to others, it is impersonal. While most Hindus worship Brahman (the creator), Shiva (the destroyer), Vishnu (the preserver), and the goddess Shaktri, they also worship a pantheon of other minor gods, their incarnations, spouses, or offspring. A belief in reincarnation (continual cycle of death and rebirth) is one of the few unifying features of Hinduism.


Most Hindu groups also have their own unique beliefs and deities, and the Pardhis are no exception. They worship their elders. Their three gods are Dharti, Gorasi and Gosai.


What Are Their Needs?

The Paharias cannot continue to live as they have in the past. Believers with marketable skills can teach the youth ways to earn a living in the modern world.


Prayer Points

Pray that God will send culturally sensitive missionaries who will show the Paharia community the way to the cross.


Pray for a Christ-ward movement to flourish among the Paharia people in the 2020s.


Pray for the Paharia people to be blessed with peace, joy and spiritual prosperity as they follow Jesus Christ.


Pray for their leaders to have dreams and visions that will open their hearts to Jesus Christ and his ambassadors.


Scripture Prayers for the Paharia in India.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Paharia
People Name in Country Paharia
Alternate Names Dhanus Savara; Pahad; Pahaidia; Pahaira; Pahari; Pahariya; Pahira; Pahiri; Pahor; Pahriya; Saora Dhanus; पाहरिया
Population this Country 20,000
Population all Countries 20,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 17811
ROP3 Code 113284
ROP25 Code 306419
ROP25 Name Paharia
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 6
Largest States
West Bengal
8,900
Maharashtra
4,100
Uttar Pradesh
2,400
Chhattisgarh
2,100
Odisha
1,300
Jharkhand
600
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 6
  West Bengal 8,900
  Maharashtra 4,100
  Uttar Pradesh 2,400
  Chhattisgarh 2,100
  Odisha 1,300
  Jharkhand 600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Mal Paharia (8,300 speakers)
Language Code mkb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Bengali
2,900
Hindi
2,100
Marathi
1,100
Chhattisgarhi
1,100
Odia
900
Primary Language Mal Paharia (8,300 speakers)
Language Code mkb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Bengali 2,900
  Hindi 2,100
  Marathi 1,100
  Chhattisgarhi 1,100
  Odia 900
People Groups Speaking Mal Paharia

Primary Language:  Mal Paharia

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1994)
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete Yes  (2018)
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mal Paharia Jesus Film Project
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source The Advocacy Project - Flickr  Creative Commons 
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. Learn more.



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