Sinhalese in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Sinhalese
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,300
World Population: 401,900
Primary Language: Sinhala
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Singhalese are believed to be of Aryan descent. They migrated from India (Bengal, Odisha, and Gujarat) to Sri Lanka as early as the 6th century B.C. where they became known as Singhalese. The Singhalese King, court, and people converted to Indian Buddhism in the 2nd century B.C. Some remained in India while others have migrated there in recent decades. Many live either in New Delhi or Chennai.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sinhalese in India are often sent by the Sri Lankan government. Some work for banks.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like Singhalese anywhere, those in India are Theravada Buddhist and the temple is the focal point of their activities. Besides the religious Wesak day (a Buddhist celebration of Buddha's enlightenment), the Singhalese Buddhist community also celebrates the New Year usually on 14th April. New Year's Day begins with lighting a lamp and placing it in a prominent position in the house and it is believed to drive away evil spirits. Certain foods are required, and it is believed that eating these foods on an auspicious day will bring one good fortune throughout the year. This custom is still practiced despite disbelief among people in their community today.

What Are Their Needs?

The Buddhist Sinhalese diaspora need the chance to find their way to Jesus Christ, who alone offers life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Buddhist Sinhalese people in India.
Pray for a movement of Buddhist Sinhalese households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Sinhalese people to the arms of Jesus.
Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Sinhalese people in India.

Text Source:   Joshua Project