Lohar (Muslim traditions) in Bangladesh

Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Lohar (Muslim traditions)
Country: Bangladesh
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 44,000
World Population: 3,007,000
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Lohar people of Bangladesh are nomadic smiths who travel in 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 remain poor today. Although they are nomads, most Lohar people live in the Indian state of Rajasthan. There are also Lohar people in other South Asian countries including Bangladesh.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Lohar people lead difficult 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 poorer quality. Also, many cannot read or write because of the nomadic lifestyle they lead; few have regular access to school. They are despised because of the Hindu caste system. 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?

Unlike the Muslim majority in Bangladesh, the Lohar people are mostly Hindus. 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 needed benefits.

What Are Their Needs?

Their most dire need is to know the love of God. They are low-caste and are often misunderstood because of stereotypes. They are the perfect example of a people in need of God's healing touch. 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 other career, which would be difficult since so few of them (or maybe even none) have had the chance to go to school.

Prayer Points

Pray that their business success increases, or, if it is God's will that they become sedentary, that they receive the education they need. Pray that more audio and video resources already existing in Hindi (their spoken language) will be made available to them since very few can read or write. Pray that missionaries would go to Lohar people in Bangladesh and show them that God shows no favoritism. He accepts all people! Above all, pray for their hearts; pray for them to be open to Christ and his love.

Text Source:   Joshua Project