Magar in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Nepal is a small nation located along the southern part of the Himalayas, between India and China. It is home to approximately 300 ethnic groups who speak many different languages and have a wide variety of religious beliefs. Recently, Nepal has been transformed from a monarchy into a parliamentary form of government.

The Magar are one of the oldest known tribes in Nepal; however, their origin is unclear. They are believed to be of Tibetan descent because their language and dances are similar to those within the Tibetan culture. Some of the Magar live in the plains where the Himalayan hills begin. Others occupy the lower hills of the Mahabharat Lekh while a few inhabit the high altitude mountain areas.

There are two major groups of Magar (the Eastern and Western) and which are further divided into a number of clans. The Magar language, which is divided into four groups, gives the people a distinct tribal identity. This linguistic classification is important in understanding the Magar tribes.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Magar are craftsmen, although some who own their land have become farmers. Others work as miners, blacksmiths, or basket weavers. They tend to be hard-working, honest, self-reliant, and self-sufficient people. They are very jovial and love to sing and dance. They have several kinds of dances as well as tribal games that they frequently play.

The Eastern Magar typically live in large, two-story stone houses with slate or thatch roofs. The homes are often constructed with large porches in front.

The Eastern Magar have a unique style of dress. Most often, they wear loin cloths and bhotos (shirts with sleeves), or shirts and coats. The women also wear loin cloths called dhotis. They often adorn themselves with fulis (flower-like ear ornaments) in the middle parts of their ears and necklaces made of glass beads and silver Indian coins. Some aspects of western style clothing are slowly becoming more common.

Magar marriages are arranged in a unique fashion. The groom's brother-in-law must go to the bride's family and offer a "bride price" of money and alcohol. If the proposal is accepted, further payments are then made. Marriages to maternal first cousins are the most common arrangements.

The most distinctive element in the Magar family kinship is the strong bond between maternal uncles and their nephews. They treat each other with mutual respect because when the nephew is ready to marry, his bride will be chosen from among his uncle's daughters.

"Life cycle rituals" are a very important part of Magar society. A special birth ceremony is held eleven days after a child is born. The baby is named and then washed for the first time. One festival known as Jyestha Poornima is observed in May or June at the time of the full moon. During the ceremony, freshly harvested grains are offered to the gods.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The great majority of the Magar practice ethnic religions, while the minority are practicing Hindus. Like other Magar groups, Hinduism has greatly influenced the Eastern Magar. Many now worship the three major Hindu gods: Brahma (creator of the universe), Vishnu (protector and preserver of the worlds), and Shiva (the destroyer), as well as a host of other deities.


What Are Their Needs?

The New Testament has been translated into the Eastern Magar language. However, the government of Nepal fiercely opposes any form of evangelism. Penalties against Christians sharing their faith have been harsh. Many believers have spent long periods of time in prison. Perhaps this explains why there are only a few known Eastern Magar believers.

Nepal has long been hidden away and forgotten by most of the world. The government of Nepal is opposed to any form of proselytizing; and so government restrictions apply, but most of the time Christians can follow their religion. There are more problems from family members than from the government.

Intercession is the key to breaking down the strongholds over these tribes and seeing them reached with the Light of the glorious Gospel.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Lord of the harvest will thrust forth laborers into Nepal.
Ask God to give the few Eastern Magar believers opportunities to share the Gospel with their own people.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of Nepal's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Eastern Magar.


Scripture Prayers for the Magar in India.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

The Waiting World - The Nepali
Source:  The Waiting World      Download

People Name General Magar
People Name in Country Magar
Population this Country 409,000
Population all Countries 2,578,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Bara Mangar; Eastern Magar; Gurkha; Magari; Mangar; Mangari; Thami; Thapa; मगर
People ID 11698
ROP3 Code 102848
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 25
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Assam
189,000
West Bengal
138,000
Sikkim
26,000
Meghalaya
24,000
Bihar
11,000
Manipur
4,000
Himachal Pradesh
3,200
Nagaland
3,000
Arunachal Pradesh
2,900
Uttar Pradesh
1,100
Uttarakhand
800
Tripura
700
Mizoram
700
Delhi
500
Madhya Pradesh
500
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 25  (only 20 largest shown)
  Assam 189,000
  West Bengal 138,000
  Sikkim 26,000
  Meghalaya 24,000
  Bihar 11,000
  Manipur 4,000
  Himachal Pradesh 3,200
  Nagaland 3,000
  Arunachal Pradesh 2,900
  Uttar Pradesh 1,100
  Uttarakhand 800
  Tripura 700
  Mizoram 700
  Delhi 500
  Madhya Pradesh 500
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (137,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
Assamese
91,000
Bengali
68,000
Magar, Eastern
25,000
Hindi
23,000
Maithili
2,900
Amri Karbi
1,000
Bhojpuri
800
Magahi
400
Angika
100
Primary Language Nepali (137,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
  Assamese 91,000
  Bengali 68,000
  Magar, Eastern 25,000
  Hindi 23,000
  Maithili 2,900
  Amri Karbi 1,000
  Bhojpuri 800
  Magahi 400
  Angika 100
People Groups Speaking Nepali

Primary Language:  Nepali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1850-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1914-2012)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video New Way (Naya Goreto) Create International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version Super Bible / Comic Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Nepali YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Children and youth resources One Hope
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
2.56 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
5.17 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
92.24 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.03 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Video Source The Waiting World
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more