Oriya in United States

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Oriya
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,200
World Population: 41,200
Primary Language: Odia
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Oriya are from Odisha, a state in eastern India. They have close contact with each other and with those who speak their language in India. Those in the United States are a small percentage of South Asians in that country.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In the United States the Oriya maintain their culture through festivals that they celebrate such as Holi and Diwali. They enjoy traditional dances and dramas. Dancers from Odisha come to America for these Oriya cultural events. The Oriya in the United States have an Association called The Odisha Society of the Americas that promotes their culture. They have a yearly meeting. In 2008 the local Oriya community of Houston issued an invitation to the city to celebrate the arrival of Lord Jagannatha (an idol that they consider to be the Lord of the Universe) in Houston. Their web site said, "Lord Jagannatha is so merciful that just by seeing Him or pulling Him on the Ratha (car) and hearing the chanting of his holy name everyone's sins and even the repeated cycle of birth, death, disease, and old age can be relieved at once."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Oriya speakers in the U. S. are Hindus. They have a pragmatic way of approaching the spiritual world. They worship the gods they believe will provide them favor and protection. Some of them are more devout than others. Many of those in the U. S. are Brahmins, who tend to have a philosophical approach to religious practices.

What Are Their Needs?

The Oriya speakers need loving friends who will introduce them to our best friend, Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit to go to the Oriya speakers of the U. S. Pray for a desire for true holiness and blessings that will lead them to the foot of the cross. Pray for a disciple making movement among Oriya speakers and other South Asians in North America.

Text Source:   Joshua Project