Introduction / History
The Bhat believe that they are an offshoot of Brahmins, as their name is merely a corruption of the term Brahmin. The Bhat served in administrative positions during and before the British colonial period. Some Bhat have moved to the West where they occupy positions in the fields of medicine, science and education.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The primary language of the Bhat in Pakistan is Sindhi. Many of their men also speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Many Christian resources are available in Sindhi including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film. There may be few or no followers of Christ today among the Hindu Bhat of Pakistan.
During the Partition of India in 1947 many Hindus in Pakistan moved to India while many Muslims in India moved to Pakistan. The vast majority of the Hindu Bhat people make their home in India. Much smaller groups live in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The Bhat are a landowning community. Lower castes work the land as Bhat refrain from manual labor. The Bhat often work in Hindu temples as priests. Literacy is low among the Bhat women. The Bhat are also known for being poets, singers, entertainers and story-tellers.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Parents encourage their sons to attend universities and obtain graduate degrees. Many Bhat occupy a high status in Indian society as writers, athletes, entertainers, politicians, and scientists.
The Bhat consider themselves to be devout Hindus. Hinduism is the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
The Bhat community in India speaks over 40 languages. Evangelistic and church planting efforts need to accommodate these language subdivisions. The low literacy rate among women suggests the need for oral communication of the gospel message. The pride of the Bhat can often be a hindrance in trusting Christ as Savior and Lord.
Pray for Christian workers to carry the good news of Jesus to the Bhat community in Pakistan.
Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Bhat families and clans into a rich experience of God's blessings.
Pray that the elders and leaders in the Bhat community in Pakistan would read the Bible.
Pray each individual in the Bhat community who is capable of making a decision about Christ will be given at least one opportunity to do so.
Scripture Prayers for the Bhat (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.