Introduction / History
As late as the 19th century there were reports of highway robberies by the Zargar people. They had a reputation for being robbers and thieves. Most Hindu Zargar live in the north of India in Jammu and Kashmir. Within the Zargar there are Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Clans of Zargar often travel from place to place looking for work.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Zargar people are related to the Romani (Gypsy) peoples through language and culture. Their two main languages of the Hindu Zargar of India are Dogri and Kashmiri.
The New Testament in Dogri became available in 2021. There are few if any followers of Christ among the Hindu Zargar.
The Zargar do not marry between religious communities, so there is no inter-marriage between Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Zargar. Hindu Zargar marry other Hindus. Marriage to one spouse is the norm.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The nomadic lifestyle of some Zargar makes it difficult for their children to obtain an education. Many Zargar are unable is read and write beyond a rudimentary level. They also lack job skills. The majority of the Zargar do not own land. Some work as landless laborers in times of harvest.
Zargar sons inherit what little property their father owns. Sons take care of elderly parents. The government of India is encouraging the Zargar to settle down in one location so that their economic situation improves and their children are able to attend school
Zargar people practice Hinduism, 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 like 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 Zargar peoples, be they Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, need to hear about and trust in Jesus Christ. Their children need to attend school on a regular basis. Zargar need to learn new job skills do they can join the modern Indian economy.
Pray for God to open the hearts of the Hindu Zargar.
Pray for a movement of Zargar households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger among the elders and leaders among the Hindu Zargar.
Pray for workers who are filled with the Holy Spirit to go to the Zargar people and tell them about Jesus.
Scripture Prayers for the Zargar (Hindu traditions) in India.