Introduction / History
The primary language of the Sathwara is Sindhi. Many of their men also speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Many resources exist in Sindhi including a whole Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. Sathwara live in Gujarati, a state of west central India. A much smaller population resides in southeast Pakistan. During the Partition of India in 1947, many Muslims left India to live in Pakistan while many Hindus fled Pakistan for India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Sathwara people work in farming, construction and in urban occupations. Many of their young people are leaving the rural villages looking for a better life in the cities. Educated Sathwara hold jobs in medicine, science, universities, and business. Sathwara with college degrees speak English which is an asset in international trade.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Sathwara choose marriage partners from within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Rural Sathwara tend to have large families. Sons inherit property and take care of elderly parents. Village elders make judicial decisions and deal with outsiders.
Some rural Sathwara lack access to modern medicine. As a result, life expectancy is low and child mortality is high for rural Sathwara.
The Sathwara are divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarians. The non-vegetarians do not eat beef because of their Hindu faith and pork as to not offend their Muslims neighbors. Their diet consists mostly of rice, curries, lentils, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products.
Sathwara people are Hindus. Hinduism is 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 as Christians do. 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.
Rural Sathwara need access to modern medicine.
All Sathwars need the truth of the gospel to be communicated to them as only God's Holy Spirit can communicate.
Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Sathwara community in India and Pakistan.
Pray for many believers to be prompted to faithfully pray for Sathwara people.
Pray that Sathwara people will see past their respective traditional Hindu worship and experience a growing desire to know the truth of God's word.
Ask God to send workers to the Pakistani Sathwara.
Scripture Prayers for the Sathwara in Pakistan.