Kapu in India

Kapu
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Kapu
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,310,000
World Population: 15,311,300
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.02 %
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

The Telugu word Kapu or Kaapu means either farmer or 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. The Kapu were inhabitants of the Andhra Pradesh 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. The migration seems to have occurred 2500 years ago, which coincides with the rise of the first Andhra Kingdom. This migrant tribe initially settled along the banks of the Godavari River, cleared forests and built settlements and towns. Today most Kapu are found primarily in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. The Kapu community in Andhra Pradesh is predominantly concentrated in the coastal districts and nearby Telangana State.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Modern day Kapu 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. A significant number of Kapu 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, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Kapu are primarily Hindu. They live among many Muslims and other Hindus in South India. Missionary activity in the Andhra Pradesh region has seen some success in winning the Kapu population to Christ. In 1710, a Roman Catholic missionary established one of the first mission stations in the region and nearly 300 people came to faith. Various Protestant mission groups arrived some 200 years later. Today, 30 major denominations are represented in the state. The Church at large, however, has struggled long and hard against nominalism. Of the 33 tribal groups in Andhra Pradesh, 16 have yet to be evangelized.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kapu people need to put all their faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can provide them with the forgiveness of their sins. Kapu who live in villages often lack access to modern medicine, electricity and clean water.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to send Indian believers to the Kapu to tell them about Jesus Christ. * Pray that the spiritual and physical needs of the Kapu will be met by Jesus Christ. * Pray that God will open the minds and hearts of the Kapu to the truth of the Word of God. * Pray for a disciple making movement to Christ among the Kapu this decade.

Text Source:   Keith Carey