Bhojpuri Bihari in South Africa

Bhojpuri Bihari
Photo Source:  COMIBAM / Sepal 
Map Source:  People Group location: Wikipedia. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Bhojpuri Bihari
Country: South Africa
10/40 Window: No
Population: 58,000
World Population: 86,000
Primary Language: Bhojpuri
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The partition of India in 1947 led to huge migrations all over the world. A large number of people from the Bihar Province of British India moved to various parts of the world to work as indentured laborers. Some even went to South Africa, where the community found employment and was able to put down roots working in sugarcane, cocoa, rice, and rubber plantations.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Biharis in South Africa have prospered, are well educated, and have a high rate of literacy. Like other South Asian peoples in southern Africa, they often have family owned businesses. Others have tech abilities that provide them with a lucrative career.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bhojpuri Bihari people practice Hinduism, 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 like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins. 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.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bhojpuri Bihari people need hearts that are ready to seek and find a relationship with Jesus Christ, King of kings.

Prayer Points

Pray for spiritual hunger among the Bhojpuri Bihari in South Africa. There have been amazing breakthroughs among Bhojpuri speakers in India. Pray this will reach South Africa. Pray that Bhojpuri speakers in India will reach out to their "cousins" in South Africa to disciple them in the ways of Christ. Pray for workers to find ways to reach the Bhojpuri Bihari people using culturally appropriate materials.

Text Source:   Joshua Project