Pan in Bangladesh

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Pan
Country: Bangladesh
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,400
World Population: 1,615,400
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

India is the primary home of the Pano or Pan people, though a small number are in Bangladesh. Many Pans live in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharhand and Andhra Pradesh. The Pan people are distributed in the Balasore, Cuttack, Puri, Dhankanal and Ganjam districts of Odisha and on the border with West Bengal and Bihar. The Pan are Odia speaking people while some of them also speak Hindi.

They have occupational sub-groups known as Bunapano and Dhulipano. Many use Shamal as their surname.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They are non-vegetarian and rice is their staple food. The majority live by farming or fishing. They take menial jobs and they have low status. Pan people have faced considerable health problems related to contaminated water, poor diet, respiratory infections and lack of medical care. Several charitable groups have made efforts to help them with these problems. This has helped, but most of them still face these same problems. Most worship Hindu and village deities and participate in ancestral worship.

They are divided into several lineages, which regulate marriage alliances and indicate one's ancestry. They have only one clan, the Nagasa. Their traditional and primary occupation is to serve as serfs to the land holding communities. However, a few of them are engaged in private business, in cultivation, as daily wage laborers and as musicians.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Pan worship gods and goddesses such as Mahadev and Durga. Their village deities are Lakshmi, Mongla and Jogmaya. Jogmaya is their chief deity. The Pan have presumed kinship with other communities such as the Mahaprasad, Mokar and the Maitra. They act as musicians during the worship and life cycle rituals of other communities.

What Are Their Needs?

Pan Christians in both India and Bangladesh face marginalization for not conforming to the majority religion.

Prayer Points

Pray for God to send several Christian workers to work among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
Pray for community development programs and opportunities to hear the gospel.
Pray that many in Pan communities will know Jesus as the only savior.

Text Source:   Joshua Project