Introduction / History
The Rathawa are a scheduled tribe residing in the hilly regions of the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are very dependent on forests for their living. Forest areas provide them land for agriculture, wild animals for food, firewood for fuel, and teak wood for building houses.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Rathawa stay in villages that are usually clusters of 40-50 houses, very near to their agricultural fields, but surrounded by a strong fence. Tamarind trees are considered to be haunted by spirits driven out of those possessed, and therefore no houses are constructed near one! There are also other distinguishing features in the construction of their houses . They always build their houses on elevated ground to prevent flooding. Around most of them there will also be a grove of palm trees. Their houses usually have no windows!
Rathawa are generally friendly with outsiders. Their way of honouring guests is by serving them food in their kitchen.
Rathawa consider themselves Hindus. A handful of Rathawa have responded to the gospel message and are following Christ, but God's Word is not available in the Rathawi language for them to read, understand and grow in their relationship with Jesus. No other Gospel resources, such as recordings, radio programmes or tracts are available in this language. God's Word in Rathawi will make a big impact on the community. God's Word is not available in the Rathawi language for them to read, understand and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
* Rathawa to be open to the gospel message and accept Jesus as their personal Saviour.
* More Christian workers to go among them to preach the Gospel.
* The Gospel materials to be developed and widely used.
* Rathawa to be relieved from the fear of the unknown and know the Loving God