Kapu in Sri Lanka

Kapu
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Kapu
Country: Sri Lanka
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,400
World Population: 13,933,400
Primary Language: Telugu
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 - Kapu
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Kapus were inhabitants of the Andhra region, people who migrated from the north, cleared forests for agriculture and built settlements. They are the descendants of the Kaampu tribe, an Indo-Aryan tribe, which migrated from Kampilya, Mithila and Ayodhya. These were ancient cities situated in the Gangetic Plains of North India spread across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The migration seems to have occurred 2500 years ago, which coincides with the rise of the first Andhra Kingdom, Satavahanas. This migrant tribe initially settled along the banks of the Godavari River, cleared forests and built settlements and towns.

The Telugu word Kapu or Kaapu means protector. They are also referred to by their caste title Naidu, which means leader. The Kapus were primarily a military/agrarian community which took up military service and participated in farming during peace time. Consequently, the Kapu subcastes also evolved based on occupation. Kapus who engaged in trade were referred to as Balija. Balijas who took up military service and protected trading caravans were called Balija Nayakulu or Balija Naidu. Modern day Kapus have banded together to fight for their political rights in the caste system. They have also organized agricultural unions to protect their way of life.

Where Are they Located?

They are found primarily in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where they make up about one-quarter of the population. The Kapu community in Andhra Pradesh is predominantly concentrated in the coastal districts, North Telangana and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh. They are also found in large numbers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. A smaller number live in Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

A significant number of Kapus have today diversified into industry, arts and academia. However, substantial segments of the population are still farmers. They are similar to farming peoples in neighboring Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Orissa, Rajasthan and also Madhya Pradesh.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Kapu are primarily Hindu. Hindus believe in and worship millions of gods, Brahman being the most important. 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?

Their greatest need is to know that apart from their multitudes of gods feared and worshiped, Almighty Jehovah God exists, loves them, and has paid their sin debt.

Kapu people are considered a forward caste, consequently, they do not qualify for government assistance or benefits. They are a perfect example of people in need of God's healing touch.

Prayer Points

Pray for a chain reaction of Kapu 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 Kapu 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 Kapu people in Sri Lanka like yeast changes dough.

Text Source:   Keith Carey