Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Paraiyan or Paraiyar are an agricultural Hindu people who live in south India and Sri Lanka. Their name comes from the Tamil word for drum. The Paraiyan are known for making drums and playing them at weddings and Hindu festivals. The English word "pariah" may come from this people. As the numbers of this people increased, they had to take jobs that other castes would not take such as dealing with corpses and tanning leather. The primary language of the Paraiyan is Tamil. Illiteracy is a big issue for the Paraiyan as less than half of them are able to read and write. Many resources are available in Tamil including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film. Most Paraiyan will have to have the gospel given to them in oral and visual forms.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Paraiyan make their living in agriculture and animal husbandry. For the most part they work on land owned by higher castes. To supplement their incomes, they make baskets and mats. A few Paraiyan have been able to attend universities and become physicians, politicians and administrators. The Paraiyan marry within their people group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young couple. Monogamy or marriage to one spouse in the general rule. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. Parents encourage their sons to get at least a primary education. Girls often have to quit school after a few years to help their families. Paraiyan are not vegetarians but as Hindus do not eat beef. Due to their poverty the Paraiyan often eat meat only on holidays or special occasions. Their dead are cremated.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Paraiyan practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of Indian subcontinent. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Paraiyan visit Hindu shrines 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 do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Paraiyan people are 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 caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. The Paraiyan are outside of the caste system and face discrimination.


What Are Their Needs?

The Paraiyan have major physical and spiritual needs. At least half need to learn to read and write. They need to learn new job skills to escape the cycle of poverty. Most of all the Paraiyan must hear the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them eternal life.


Prayer Points

Pray that God establishes the Paraiyan believers in the faith and uses them to share the gospel with their families and friends. Pray that Hindu background believers build relationships with the Paraiyan and help meet their spiritual and physical needs. Pray for a movement to Jesus to multiply among Paraiyan families and communities.


Scripture Prayers for the Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)
Alternate Names Christian Adi Dravida; Parayan; Parayan Christian; Pariah; Pariya; Samban; Sambar; Sambavan; Sambavar; Sambavar Christian; Veppur Parayan; परैयाँ
Population this Country 105,000
Population all Countries 2,713,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 17844
ROP3 Code 113318
ROP25 Code 306551
ROP25 Name Parayan / Paraiyan
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States on file 9
Largest States
Central
63,000
Uva
19,000
Sabaragamuwa
12,000
Western
6,900
Southern
2,000
Eastern
1,200
Northern
1,000
North Western
700
North Central
200
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States 9
  Central 63,000
  Uva 19,000
  Sabaragamuwa 12,000
  Western 6,900
  Southern 2,000
  Eastern 1,200
  Northern 1,000
  North Western 700
  North Central 200
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 Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Tamil
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Malayalam
Primary Language Tamil
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Malayalam
People Groups Speaking Tamil

Primary Language:  Tamil

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1714-1956)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1715-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1727-2021)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
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
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources General / Other
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible Oral Bibles
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tamil Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Comprehensive list of Tamil Resources General / Other
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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