Introduction / History
The Saora are a scheduled tribe, meaning that they have a tribal background and they are given low status in the Hindu pecking order. They speak Sora and are mostly Hindus. Most are less than average height.
Where Are they Located?
You can find Saora people in Bangladesh, India, or Nepal. Their population is small in Bangladesh and Nepal.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are farmers who use slash and burn farming techniques. The Saora people will cultivate land to raise rice, millet and pulses, but after a couple of harvests they need to move on to new productive land, since their agricultural techniques are unsustainable. They usually return to their original plots after the land has recovered. One of their main challenges is that they usually live high in the hills, so their land is not level enough to cultivate properly. There is a problem with soil erosion. The men hunt wild game to enhance their food source. They exchange produce and wild game at an important weekly market called shandies.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Saora family is patriarchal, meaning that the descent comes through the father’s side of the family. Instead of clans like most other South Asian communities, they Saoras have extended families called Berinda, which include descendants from a common ancestor for four or five generations.
Traditional village councils judge matters such as financial and social ones. They use both herbal and modern medicines. Their literacy level tends to be low so the gospel message will need to be given in oral form and not just in written form.
The Saora people are officially Hindu, but this religious system allows for much spiritual flexibility. Their spiritual lives are very much influenced by shamans (usually a woman) who act as intermediaries between the worlds of the living and that of the dead. In India, but not Nepal or Bangladesh, missionaries have made inroads into their spiritual lives.
What Are Their Needs?
The Saora people need help in developing farming techniques that will allow them to farm their land without temporarily making it unproductive.
* Scripture Prayers for the Saora in Bangladesh.
* Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing Saora churches.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Saora families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray for grace and truth expanding into the entire Saora society as all believers learn to love others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God’s love will change the Saora people like yeast changes dough.