Beda in Pakistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Beda have been described as a "wandering musician community of Ladakh." Ladakh is a disputed mountainous region of Kashmir in northern Pakistan and India. The chief occupation of the Beda is begging and playing music. In the past the Beda wandered over a vast territory, playing their music all the way to the Tibetan border. They used to pack their belongings on mules and donkeys staying on the outskirts of Bot villages for a few days before moving on to the next village. They traversed throughout the Ladakh, Nubra and Zangskar valleys visiting far-flung villages in the course of their annual cycle of migration.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Beda are thinly scattered in villages around Leh, the capital of Ladakh and former home of the Ladakhi monarchy. They play on the surna (clarinet), daman (drum) or duff (tambourine) in public places or near a house. Usually, the male members play while the females dance on the beats of the tambourine. On the completion of their musical renderings, they beg. Because they beg, they rank lowest in the Ladakhi society. Many Beda are unable to read and write.
Because of their role as musicians and beggars, the Beda spread themselves out over a number of villages in order to obtain maximum exposure and economic benefit. Usually no more than a few Beda families live in the same village, alongside Ladakhi and people from other ethnic groups.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Beda families of Pakistan believe in Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism is the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, who lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Mahayana Buddhism, the one of the two main branch of Buddhism, asserts that by following the six perfections that a Buddhist can move along the path to Enlightenment. Tibetan Buddhism falls within the Mahayana school.
To most Buddhists, however, these things have far less meaning than their traditional beliefs, which are usually animistic. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Buddhism allows people to mix Buddhist teachings with traditional religion.
Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday in December or January which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.

What Are Their Needs?

The Beda would benefit by learning new job skills. Their children need good schools to attend. Most of all, the Beda need to hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them abundant life.

Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind the demonic forces and protect the Beda from dark forces.
Pray for signs and wonders among the Beda and for breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to the Beda of Pakistan.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among the Beda people.

Scripture Prayers for the Beda in Pakistan.


Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Beda
People Name in Country Beda
Alternate Names Bedar; Beta; Bhot; Bhotia; Bodh; Jyali; Jyayi; बेदार (बुद्धिस्ट ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 400
Population all Countries 1,100
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 19193
ROP3 Code 115253
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Gilgit-Baltistan 400
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
97.30 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.70 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Balti (400 speakers)
Language Code bft   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Balti (400 speakers)
Language Code bft   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Balti

Primary Language:  Balti

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1903-1981)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
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 Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Balti Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2023  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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.