Binjhal in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Binjhal
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 163,000
World Population: 163,000
Primary Language: Odia
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.06 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

According to one legend of many, the Binjhal name came from two words which combined meant without sweat. The Binjhal people are a scheduled caste that at some time in the past migrated from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Many still live in Madhya Pradesh. They speak in a dialect of Oriya. They have many clans.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some are landowners while others are agricultural day laborers. They have a low literacy level so the gospel will need to be presented in oral form. They are noted for being fighters. Binjhal families are nuclear. They are patrilinear, meaning that they go by the father's family line. Most marriages are arranged by the families, and it's common for them to marry their cousins. Sometimes a couple will elope and other times there is "marriage by capture," where there is a mock capturing of the bride by the groom and his family. In any case the groom has to pay a bride price to her family. The Binjhal people allow for divorce and remarriage. They do not have a formal village council to settle disputes; those are settled by village elders.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Hinduism is their religion, but they have many of their own unique beliefs. Unlike most Hindu communities, the Binjal people bury their dead rather than cremating them. They worship their patron deity, Bindhyabasini.

What Are Their Needs?

The Binjhal people need the chance to allow Jesus Christ to give them life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray that their leaders will open the door for a Christ-ward movement. Pray for faithful intercessors and workers. Pray for Indian believers to show them the way to the cross.

Text Source:   Keith Carey