Sofi in India

The Sofi have only been reported in India
Main Language
Largest Religion
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

The Sofis are probably the descendants of Brahmins who converted to Sunni Islam. They were once medicants, meaning they renounced everything for spiritual reasons. There are no social divisions among the small Sofi community. Some call them Kandur. One can find them in various parts of Jammu & Kashmir.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today they have the respect of both Hindus and Muslims. They are primarily bakers, but their staple food is rice, not bread. They have few dietary restrictions, but as Muslims they will not eat pork.

A Sofi family can give their daughter to any Sunni Muslim family except for the Wattals. Parents and guardians prefer to have their children marry cousins. Sofi women work hard. They carry water, wash clothes, cook, take care of the children, etc. Unlike many Muslim communities, the Sofi remain almost exclusively monogamous. The only way a Sofi husband will take on a second wife would be if she were barren or seriously ill and she gave her consent. They rarely divorce.

Family conflicts are usually about the raising of children or about property matters. When the father dies, the family estate is divided between his widow, his sons and his daughters. Sons get double what is given to their sisters.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Sofi people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith.

However, they also depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. They believe they can escape the curse of the evil eye by wearing amulets. Sofi people attend shrines of Muslim saints in hopes that their spirits will intercede on their behalf to Allah. They look to pirs as religious specialists along with the more orthodox imams, Muslim prayer leaders.

What Are Their Needs?

Like all other peoples of the world, this people group needs the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to bless this community economically and spiritually.

Ask God to raise up Sofi who are more desirous to know the truth than to stay on the broad road.

Ask God to send loving, committed workers to the Sofi in the near future.

Pray the Sofi would no longer be hidden away from the influence of Christ.

Pray for many of them to make disciples who will make even more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Sofi in India.


People of India, Vol 25. K.S. Singh. 2003

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Sofi
People Name in Country Sofi
Alternate Names Kandur; सोफी
Population this Country 1,500
Population all Countries 1,500
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 18146
ROP3 Code 113654
ROP25 Code 307606
ROP25 Name Sofi
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)
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 1
  Jammu and Kashmir 1,500
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Kashmiri (1,500 speakers)
Language Code kas   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kashmiri (1,500 speakers)
Language Code kas   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kashmiri
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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