Mahar (Buddhist traditions) in Pakistan


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

Introduction / History

The Mahar people were historically a part of a low caste, the lowest caste in the Hindu social system. This classification caused the Mahar people to face extreme discrimination and legal restrictions on day-to-day activities, out of the fear that they might contaminate higher caste Hindus. These restrictions included items such as when they were allowed to be in the city, whether they were allowed to spit on the ground, and how loudly they were allowed to talk. The Mahar people worked primarily as low-skilled laborers and speak the Marathi language.

Beginning around 1900, the Mahar people experienced a slow social revolution where they began to become aware of and fight for more rights due to British influence. This culminated in the conversion of close to 500,000 Mahar individuals to Buddhism in 1956 led by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. Those that converted to Buddhism are typically not associated with the Mahar people group any longer.


Where Are they Located?

The Mahar people are primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, which is named after them. They can also be found in the surrounding Indian states. There are also small Mahar communities that can be found in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Originally, the Mahar people lived in primarily rural communities, but now are also common in urban areas.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In 1949, the Indian constitution outlawed discrimination against the lowest Hindu social class. While this has helped the situation of those formerly in the low class, such as the Mahar people, they still face frequent residual discrimination.

Around the same time as the revolution led by Ambedkar, the Mahar people began to migrate to cities in search of work. They are often employed in low skilled labor such as masons, railway workers, bus/truck drivers, etc. In the rural areas, some Mahar people farm, though the Mahar people have never been an agricultural people group, likely due to their restricted access to land ownership.


Deep seated belief in Hindu gods and a lack of fervent believers in their communities make it hard for the Mahar people to find their way to the cross and the empty grave.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahar people are primarily Hindu. They believe in the numerous Hindu gods and the reincarnation cycle based upon their good works. The Mahar also have a small Muslim presence. There have been small successes in evangelizing to the Mahar people, particularly during the social revolution around 1960. This led to small population of Christians amongst the Mahar.


What Are Their Needs?

Due to their historical and continual discrimination, the Mahar people face an uphill battle in daily life. Many struggle to obtain all the necessities of life. The Mahar people need both economic and social justice, in order to thrive.

Additionally, they need a spiritual revival. The country of India and the Hindu religion are not very tolerant to Christianity and converts. Christian Mahars will often face even further persecution or discrimination than what they experienced previously as Hindus.


Prayer Points

Pray that God will begin restorative justice amongst the Mahar people, both socially and economically.
Pray that God will raise up missionaries that have a heart for the Mahar people.
Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Mahar people and that they will be responsive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will establish a thriving church amongst the Mahar people and will give the current Christians the strength to persevere and continue evangelizing.
Pray for protection for the Mahar Christians from persecution.


Scripture Prayers for the Mahar (Buddhist traditions) in Pakistan.


Profile Source:   Levi Boxell  

People Name General Mahar (Buddhist traditions)
People Name in Country Mahar (Buddhist traditions)
Pronunciation mah-HAR
Population this Country 9,600
Population all Countries 11,294,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Abne; Amadha; Anantkulia; Andvan; Antyaja; Atishudra; Atisudra; Autkamble; Bhumia; Bhumiputra; Bhuyal; Chokhamela; Chokhapur; Dahia; Deharia; Dharnicheput; Dhed; Dhegu Megu; Domb; Holar; Holiya; Hulsava; Jharia; Kathivale; Mahar; Maharani; Maheri; Mahir; Mahobia; Mahri; Mala; Mehra; Mhar; Mhetre; Mirasi; Nahria; Parvari; Potraj; Taral; Thorlegharche; Tigda; Veskar; Yesker; महार (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 17405
ROP3 Code 112805
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Sindh 9,400
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Sindhi (9,100 speakers)
Language Code snd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Dhatki
400
Kacchi
60
Primary Language Sindhi (9,100 speakers)
Language Code snd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Dhatki 400
  Kacchi 60
People Groups Speaking Sindhi

Primary Language:  Sindhi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1825-1981)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1890-1992)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1954)
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
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sindhi
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
General Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Gospel resources links
General Gospel website in this language
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Sindhi
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Sindhi
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Levi Boxell  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more