Mahali in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Mahali
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 98,000
World Population: 98,000
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 3.35 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The word Mahli means bamboo. The Mahli are a scheduled tribe.

They live in Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal. They speak Hindi or Bengali.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They mainly do basket work for a living. Some of them work in agriculture. The Mahli of Bihar speak Sadri and read and write in Devanagari. They are not vegetarians and eat rice, maize and wheat as cereals. They have a community council to look after their needs. Their literacy level is low so the gospel will need to be given in oral form.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahali 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 or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.

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.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mahali people need a John 10:10 blessing: The abundant life Jesus offers those who are willing to submit to his lordship.

Prayer Points

Pray that the the council leaders come to Jesus Christ and lead others to Him.

Pray that gospel recordings will lead them to salvation.

Text Source:   Joshua Project