Mal (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh

Mal (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Mal (Hindu traditions)
Country: Bangladesh
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 23,000
World Population: 2,114,400
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Mal are a community known as a Scheduled Tribe, which gives them low status among Hindus. Their name comes from the Sanscrit word for "wrestler." They are divided into about five sub-castes, and many clans. Though there are small communities of them in Bangladesh and Nepal, most live in eastern India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most are agricultural laborers with no land of their own, although they are also known for being watchmen or gatekeepers. Some sell wood and work as laborers in road construction and forests. The Mal marry only within their own people group. The marriage symbols for women are vermilion and iron bangles.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Every Mal is a Hindu, and this people group celebrates its own festivals. Their form of Hinduism has become tied to the Mal identity. Hinduism is the ancient religion throughout South Asia. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of India and Nepal, 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 or Jews. Other Hindus are philosophical.

What Are Their Needs?

An ample supply of Christian resources has been available to them, but the Mal have a low literacy level, so the gospel must be presented orally. Audio and film presentations are available. There is a need for piercing intercessory prayer to break through the spiritual barriers that keep the Mal people from the blessings of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to provide for the physical needs of the Mal people in Bangladesh as a testimony of his power and love. Pray the Lord will send workers to tell them about Jesus. Pray he will prepare them for this, and that they will be given understanding.

Text Source:   Joshua Project