Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
|People Name:||Jat Virk (Muslim traditions)|
|Primary Language:||Punjabi, Western|
|Christian Adherents:||0.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Muslim - Jat|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
On the Pakistan side of Punjab, the Virk Jats are Muslim. Those on the Indian side are mostly Sikh. Virks still control the Pakistani city of Sheikhupura in Punjab Province politically and economically. They have a long history in that city.
Almost all the information about them found on the Internet has to do with their history. However, there are some interesting Virk Jats in modern times including Bollywood movie actresses and police chiefs.
Though Muslim Jats are Sunnis, they are known to have a strong tradition of worshiping many local saints. Jats observe many ceremonies, especially rites of passage such as circumcision and initiation into adulthood. Like many other South Asian communities of good standing, Muslim Jats have a negative view of Christianity, because it is associated with people of low status and caste. Sunni religious practices are simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
In Pakistan there are relatively few opportunities for someone to hear the gospel from another person. With the intense persecution of religious minorities, few would dare to share Christ in this environment.
The Virk Jats have the entire New Testament available to them in their main language, Western Punjabi. There are also gospel-oriented gospel recordings available for downloading in this language.
There are no known Virk Christian believers, but please pray for any secret believers. Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send workers to this waiting harvest field.
Pray for mission agencies to train missionaries to share the gospel message with the Virk Jat in a culturally sensitive way.
Ask God to soften hearts and draw Virk Jat elders into a relationship with God through his son.