Bihari (Muslim traditions) in Bangladesh

The Bihari (Muslim traditions) have only been reported in Bangladesh
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The so-called Biharis are Muslims who originated from different ethno-linguistic groups in Bihar and neighboring States of British India. Following communal riots during and after the partition of the Indian Subcontinent hundreds of thousands of Urdu-speaking Muslims migrated from Bihar and other Indian States to East Pakistan. When the nationalist movement of the Bengalis led to the War of Independence, the Biharis sided with Pakistan and shared in the war crimes against millions of Bengali civilians. After the war they became victims of revenge and were gathered by the Red Cross (ICCRC) into 66 Relief camps to await repatriation to Pakistan. Until 1982 approximately 200,000 "stranded Pakistanis" were expatriated until internal ethnic conflicts caused Pakistan to refuse to accept any more Bihari migrants. In spite of many promises by different Pakistani governments Biharis remained stateless in Bangladesh. The 66 former relief camps have evolved into urban slum communities where each family occupies a 6x6 sq ft. room. The congested housing situation, lack of sanitation and potable water causes many health problems. Poverty, hopelessness and social deterioration have made the camps a breeding ground for crime.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditionally Biharis have been respected as skilled, hard workers. Children are expected to learn a trade at a young age to contribute to the family income and to stay away from unsupervised play. Due to lack of employment opportunities, many Biharis run micro-enterprises. They operate small auto repair and electrical shops or work as metal workers, drivers, rickshaw pullers, weavers or barbers. Still bearing the stigma as traitors, the younger generation is slowly coming to the realization that they will have to stay in Bangladesh. In 2007 the interim government granted voting rights and citizenship to Biharis who were minors during the 71 war or born later. While this a positive change the future development of the Biharis camps remain uncertain.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bihari people in Bangladesh 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. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.


What Are Their Needs?

The Biharis need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love. Pray that the Bihari people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Bihari (Muslim traditions) in Bangladesh.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-10-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-10-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-04-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-10-26
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-06-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-09-23
People Name General Bihari (Muslim traditions)
People Name in Country Bihari (Muslim traditions)
Pronunciation bee-HAR-ee
Population this Country 946,000
Population all Countries 946,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 19
Alternate Names बिहारी (मुस्लिम ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 19654
ROP3 Code 116075
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Dhaka
377,000
Rangpur
259,000
Khulna
111,000
Chittagong
104,000
Rajshahi
69,000
Sylhet
3,500
Barisal
2,300
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Dhaka 377,000
  Rangpur 259,000
  Khulna 111,000
  Chittagong 104,000
  Rajshahi 69,000
  Sylhet 3,500
  Barisal 2,300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Urdu (667,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Bengali
285,000
Bhojpuri
1,100
Sylheti
600
Primary Language Urdu (667,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Bengali 285,000
  Bhojpuri 1,100
  Sylheti 600
People Groups Speaking Urdu

Primary Language:  Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1747-1894)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1758-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1843-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text 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 Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Audio Recordings Urdu Online Audio Bible General / Other
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Urdu 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 The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video The Prophets' Story Create International
Film / Video The Savior 6 - The Lord's Prayer Create International
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more