Dom Murdafarash in India

Dom Murdafarash
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Dom Murdafarash
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 211,000
World Population: 211,000
Primary Language: Odia
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.01 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Day laborers, street musicians and beggars; this doesn't sound like a very meaningful choice of vocations! But these are the choices for the Dom people across India. Dom tradition says they were cursed by their gods to a life of poverty for killing a cow.

There are a couple of subgroups among the Dom including the Murdafarash. This group lives in Odisha, West Bengal and eastern Madhya Pradesh.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Murdafarash Dom women are subordinate to the men in society, most often working in the home or supplementing the husband's income by begging. Women do, however, have a role in the ritual and religious spheres. These roles are reinforced by the manner in which Dom children are raised. Education is encouraged for boys, but not for girls.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Doms are committed Hindus, with particular devotion to the gods Baba Ramdeo and Bhainro. The Baba Ramdeo temple in Rajasthan is a major tourist attraction. Along with this devotion, each family worships a deity of its own choice. There are also a significant number of Dom animists who constantly make small animal sacrifices to deter ill luck. There are no more than a few hundred known Christian believers among the entire Dom population.

What Are Their Needs?

Murdafarash Dom people need a John 10:10 blessing: The abundant life Jesus offers those who are willing to submit to his lordship.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual breakthrough among the Murdafarash Dom people.

Pray that God would break down centuries-old bondages that keep the Dom people entrapped.

Pray that God would use the Dom people to begin a movement to Christ among low status communities in West Bengal and Odisha.

Text Source:   Joshua Project