Posts Tagged ‘Sikh’
Posted on January 7th, 2013 by Jonathan
Language: Punjabi, Western
Persecution Rank: 32
About: Today, the Jats are located all over India and some surrounding countries. The largest concentration is in the Punjab Region, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They are immersed in several ethnic groups who retain an identity often based on occupation and heritage. They arrived in the sub-continent as invaders, yet did not establish ruling dynasties. They were presumably Indo-Iranian, but in the course of time, they mixed with other invaders and older Indian inhabitants. A popular occupation among them is farming. A small percentage are traders and laborers. They eat unleavened bread (roti) and curry, seasonal vegetables, ghee and milk. Girls are tattooed before marriage. Women are fond of jewelry and wear bangles made of ivory, lac (a resinous material), or clay, but never glass.
A man cannot take a wife from his own section. For a wedding, a square enclosure is made known as Chaonari and a fire sacrifice is performed. The couple walk seven times around the Chaonari with their right hand inward. Widow remarriage is allowed but cannot marry her younger brother-in-law or near relatives of her deceased husband. The dead are cremated except children under seven, who are buried.
When a man dies, his widow goes around his body seven times in the reverse direction of the one during marriage, indicating the undoing of marriage and breaks a few of her bangles. An important occasion for display among them is a ceremony which is done among wealthy families when the head of the family or his wife dies, or when a daughter is married. The person who does the ceremony is highly respected and his opinion is given weight in caste disputes. The Jats also have special ceremonies during the Dussera and Baisakhi festivals.
- Ask the Lord to graciously call people to go to India and share Christ with the Jats.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts towards the gospel.
- Ask God to raise up faithful prayer warriors and intercessors to pray for the Sikh Jats of India and the people reaching out to them.
- Ask the Lord to raise up a triumphant church among the Jat for the glory of His name!
“Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!”
Posted on December 10th, 2012 by Jonathan
Persecution Rank: 32
Status: Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years.
About: The Jats are not a homogeneous ethnic group living in a particular area and speaking a single language. Rather, they are a people who live scattered around the world among several ethnic groups, yet retain their own identity. This distinction is often based on occupation and heritage. Conservative by nature, the Jats rarely marry people from other ethnic groups. Great pride is placed in their ancestry.
The Jats are primarily located in northwestern India and southern Pakistan, although there are also significant communities in Maldives, Russia, and Ukraine. However, their origin, history, and current dispersion are spread much wider. History proves that they reached Egypt with the Muslim conquerors, lived in Afghanistan before the Muslims, and invaded China with the Mongol army. They also proved to be a threat to Tamarlane in Persia and Uzbekistan.
Known for their military prowess, many Jats were recruited into the British-India army during World War I. Today, in India and Pakistan, the Jats are usually either farmers or nomadic herdsmen. Sometimes they are even forced to do both. Most of the Jats live in rural areas. Depending on whether they are settled farmers or nomadic herdsmen, they may live in permanent villages or temporary camps.
Most Jats are either Muslims, Hindus, or Sikhs. (Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that combines elements of Hinduism and Islam.) The Jats living in Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine are primarily Muslim; while the great majority of the Jats in India are Hindu. The Muslim Jats are Sunnis of the Hanafi school, but are known to have a strong tradition of worshipping many local saints. The Hindu Jats adhere to the traditional practices, as well as a wide variety of additional beliefs and practices. Until recent times, the Sikh Jats seemed to be the least meticulous in their observance of Sikh traditions, leaning more towards Hinduism. Regardless of their religious affiliation, all Jats observe many ceremonies, especially rites of passage such as circumcision and initiation into adulthood.
The Jats who live in India and Pakistan need clean drinking water and proper health care facilities. Christian medical teams and humanitarian aid workers are needed to work among them and show them God’s love in practical ways.
Most of the Jat believers live in India. Sadly, this only represents a tiny proportion of the entire Jat population in that area. Missionaries, Christian broadcasts, and evangelistic literature are needed to effectively reach the Jats with the Light of the Gospel. Most importantly, they need people who will begin to intercede for them, tearing down the strongholds that are keeping them in spiritual bondage. Only then will their hearts be prepared to receive the Good News as it is presented to them.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth additional laborers into Pakistan, India, Russia, and Ukraine to work among the Jats.
- Pray that Christian doctors, nurses, and humanitarian aid workers will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the Jats.
- Ask God to save key Jat leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel to their own people.
- Pray that the Lord will begin to reveal Himself among the Jats, show them their broken state, soften their hearts, and open them to the gospel.
- Pray that churches and missions organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Jats.
- Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully pray for the Jats.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth triumphant churches among the Jats for the glory of His name!
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