Lohar (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka

Lohar (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2021
Anonymous  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Lohar (Hindu traditions)
Country: Sri Lanka
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 900
World Population: 9,736,700
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
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

The Lohar people of Sri Lanka are smiths who travel in order to sell their goods. They are descendants of high-caste weapon makers of the Mewar kingdom in India. Unfortunately, they became poor nomads when the kingdom fell in 1568, and they still are today. Because of their low caste “untouchable” status in the Hindu caste system, they are despised by many Hindus.

Where Are they Located?

The highest concentration of Lohars is in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan. There are high numbers of Hindu Lohars in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, but a small number in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Lohars lead hard lives. Although they work hard, they live in extreme poverty. This is partly because most people prefer to buy goods from stores and factories, not handmade items, which are more expensive and are of lower quality. In addition, many cannot read or write. Plus, there are stereotypes about nomads, such as the idea that they are all thieves or corrupt, even though they generally work up to 14 hours a day.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Lohars are almost completely Hindu. Hindus believe in and worship millions of gods, the most important of which is Brahman. To them, salvation means escaping from the seemingly endless cycle of death and reincarnation (the principle that you are reborn as another person or even an animal after you die). This escape is achieved through knowledge, devotion and deeds.

What Are Their Needs?

The Lohars need business so they can feed their families. They need either more people to buy from them or become sedentary (the opposite of nomadic, meaning they settle down in one place) and take up an entire different career, which would be difficult since so few of them (or maybe even none) have had the chance to go to school.

Nevertheless, their most dire need is for the love of God. They are low-caste, considered “untouchable”, and are often misunderstood because of stereotypes. They are the perfect example of a people in need of God's healing touch.

Prayer Points

* Pray for families of Lohar believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Lohar families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray for grace and truth expanding into the entire Hindu Lohar society in Sri Lanka as all believers learn to love others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God's love will change the Hindu Lohar people in Sri Lanka like yeast changes dough.

Text Source:   Keith Carey