Tamil (Hindu traditions) in Saudi Arabia

Tamil (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Send Joshua Project a map of this people group.
People Name: Tamil (Hindu traditions)
Country: Saudi Arabia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 74,000
World Population: 2,882,900
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 12.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
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 homeland of the Tamil people is southeast India. Tamil is one of the major languages of India and the 17th most spoken language in the world. Tamils are proud of their cultural and literary heritage that dates back over 2000 years.

Many thousands of Tamils left India and live in dozens of countries throughout the world including Saudi Arabia. The ability of the Tamils to speak English and Arabic gives them an advantage in international business. The Tamils speak their own language at home, Arabic with their neighbors and English with foreign business associates. A small fraction of Tamils in Saudi Arabia is Christian, but most identity as Hindus.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Tamil parents encourage their children to pursue higher education and obtain university degrees. The father is the head of the Tamil family. He shares leadership with his wife over the children. A woman has a higher place in the Tamil home than in most Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Tamils in Saudi Arabia try to maintain their ethnic identity.

In traditional Tamil culture, the parents chose the spouse of their children. This practice has changed in modern society where the young generation usually choose their partner with their parents' guidance. There are plenty of marriage sites where Tamil Hindus can find possible spouses in Saudi Arabia and other countries outside India.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Tamils in Saudi Arabia practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. The patron god of the Tamils is Murugan, the Hindu god of war. Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Tamils visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do with their heavenly Father. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Hindus in Saudi Arabia try to be discrete in their religious practices because many Muslims see Hindus as idol worshippers. The main yearly holidays of the Hindu Tamil people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday. The Tamil New Year is celebrated on April 14.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tamils in Saudi Arabia need to understand that material success will not bring them the happiness they are seeking. Jesus Christ is much more than a Hindu god or guru. Only through Christ can a Tamil receive the forgiveness of his or her sins and the gift of eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray the Lord raises up a disciple making movement among the Tamils in Saudi Arabia in this decade.

Pray the Lord moves believers and fellowships to reach out and share the good news with the Tamils.

Pray that more Christian literature, internet material and videos are heeded by Tamil speakers.

Ask God to bring Tamil leaders and heads of families into his kingdom.

Text Source:   Joshua Project