Gujarati, Indo-Pakistani in Ethiopia

Gujarati, Indo-Pakistani
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Gujarati, Indo-Pakistani
Country: Ethiopia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,500
World Population: 3,367,100
Primary Language: Gujarati
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
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

For hundreds of years there has been trade between Ethiopia and India. Much of this trade began during the Ethiopian-based Axumite Kingdom. Centuries later this connection was reinforced when the Portuguese and later British imperialists brought Indian soldiers to Ethiopia. There were Indians who served as teachers and businessmen, but during the communist era in the 1970s and 1980s, Ethiopia embraced a policy of "Ethiopianization" where teaching and business positions went to the local people. Most of these Indians left during that time.

What Are Their Lives Like?

After communism fell in the early 1990s, Indian teachers and businessmen returned. There are not that many of them, but they are largely Gujarati. They are involved with higher education and engineering. Gujarati own Indian restaurants and shops in Ethiopia. Today the Ethiopians hold the Gujarati and other Indians in high esteem. The majority of the Gujarati are Hindus regardless of their location in the world. The Gujarati diaspora is made up of people from the Brahmin, Kshatriya, and Vaisya castes. Brahmin families usually prefer their members to be IT specialists, medical doctors or high- level businessmen. A high percentage of the Gujarati are from the Kshatriya, the military caste, though they are much more likely to be in the business arena. One of the Vaishya castes, the Banias, are another major sector of the Gujarati diaspora.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Gujarati in diaspora serve the great god of mammon but hold to traditional Gujarati Hindu beliefs and practices as well. Those beliefs and practices will differ widely according to details of caste and family background, and some will be deeply concerned and committed related to their traditional ways. Traditional gods and modern gurus compete for attention, with the 19th century-origin Swaminarayan movement continuing to grow and draw Gujarati involvement.

What Are Their Needs?

In many countries where there are Gujarati communities, there are no missionary agencies focusing taking Christ to them. The Bible is available in their language, but the Gujarati must see Christianity lived out. There will be obstacles to those who want to take Christ to these highly unreached Hindus. As it stands, there are very few who will dare to take that step.

Prayer Points

Pray for an intense spiritual hunger among these Hindus that will draw them into the loving arms of Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Gujarati in Ethiopia.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement to Christ among Gujaratis throughout East Africa and Ethiopia that will result in them experiencing the intense blessings of Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project