Primary Religion: Hinduism (99.07%)
Persecution Rank: 32
The Chamar people live primarily in India’s western states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat. They are considered untouchable, and most of them know nothing else their entire lives. With a population of over 50 million, they are among the largest untouchable, or Dalit communities in the Hindu world.
The Chamar people are also known as Bhambi, Asadaru, Khalpa, Machigar, Lingayat, Mochi and Rohit. They are mostly distributed in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.
They are regarded as untouchables or Sudras. To be untouchable, according to Indian-Hindu tradition, is to be undesirable, or unworthy of any sort of consideration or provision by society. This translates into frequent joblessness, lack of education and lifelong poverty. Traditional upper caste members will even avoid an untouchable’s shadow.
The Chamar are Hindu. They belong to the Shiva and Bhagvat sects. Their deities are Bahiroba, Janai, Kandova of Jejori and Bhawani of Tuljapur. They follow the spiritual teachings of Ravidas. They recite mythological tales and sing songs from the religious epics. They celebrate the festivals such as Diwali, Panchami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kartik, Holi and Hannami.
There is a slightly higher degree of responsiveness to the gospel among the Chamars than among other Dalits. There is a church planting movement underway among Chamars in several districts across India.
- For the salvation of the Chamar people and that God may send several Christian workers among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
- For the Chamar people to break through the caste barrier; be accepted and accept other communities.
- Pray that these Chamar believers will be salt and light to Chamar communities throughout India.
- Pray that church planting will grow across all Chamar communities.
- Pray for more workers to enter the Chamar harvest.