COUNTRIES: India, Nepal, Bangladesh
The Gadaria people live in various regions across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Their origins are clouded in mystery as every region's representatives have differing origin accounts. Those who are from the Baghela River trace their ancestry to the Baghela ruler, others from Maharashtra claim ancestry to Shiva, also known as Mahadeo, a principal deity in Hinduism. Despite the differing accounts of their ancestry, the Gadaria are of lower social standing but would consider themselves to be of middle standing.
Traditionally, the Gadaria are shepherds, herding sheep and goats for milk, wool, and meat to sell. Today, many still take to herding as their main source of living but those in living in places like Haryana and Delhi have moved on to being laborers and masons as well as agriculturalists. By and large, Gadaria are not represented in higher levels of occupations but few make it into government services such as the police. Education is not a priority for many Gadaria which results in low literacy rates.
The Gadaria, like many UPGs in this region, practice Hinduism. They worship the three major gods of Hinduism, Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). They also believe in the deities of their regions, which range from Bheru (the god of sheep), Kali, (the goddess of destruction), or Gaumata (mother of cows). They also believe in magic and evil spirits. Witch doctors called Bhopa are called on to consult in curing diseases and spiritual guidance.
- Pray that the Gadaria people will have the chance to hear a clear presentation of the gospel and that the Holy Spirit will stir in their hearts a desire for holiness.
- Ask God to use believers to begin Bible studies and plant churches among all Hindus in Eurasia.
- Pray that the Christians in this region will be bold in reaching out to their Gadaria neighbors with warmth and kindness presenting the message of the gospel.
- Ask the Lord to call people who are ready and willing to go to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh to share the message of Jesus Christ with the Gadaria people.