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Bania Mahur in India

Bania Mahur

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
872,000 Hindi Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Bania Mahur in India

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Introduction / History
The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from 'Vaniji', which means "trader or mercahnt" in Sanskrit.

Of the four major varnas or castes, Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history. Today Bania is a rather loose term, sometimes meaning caste and other times just business people.

Despite their high incomes, the Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They often resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmans and the Kshatryas. Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Many Banias are moving to Banglalore, India's "Silicon Valley" to take advantage of the business opportunities there.

Where are they located?
Most Bania Mahur live in the Indian states of Rajastan and Uttar Pradesh. Smaller numbers live in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and other regions across India.

What are their lives like?
A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

The Bania Mahur are among the wealthiest people in India. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.

The Bania are exogamous, that is they will frequently marry outside their group. Sons inherit their father's property with the eldest son receiving the family home.

Most Banias are vegetarians while some eat meat except for beef.

What are their beliefs?
Nearly all Bania peoples claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They often worship the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and the god of good fortune, Ganesha. These are the gods who drive their lives.

The Bania Mahur participate in the yearly Hindu holidays of Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the nine-day celebration of autumn.

What are their needs?
Mahur Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways. These ways have left them spiritually empty. Most of all the Bania Mahur need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out before them.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of Bania Mahur, and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Christian workers will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania Mahur community.


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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-08-01
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-10-06
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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:872,000
Largest States:
Rajasthan (343,000)Uttar Pradesh (158,000)
Madhya Pradesh (82,000)Gujarat (68,000)
Maharashtra (56,000)Haryana (50,000)
Delhi (37,000)Bihar (24,000)
Punjab (19,000)Chhattisgarh (8,600)
Total States on file:24
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bania Mahur
People Name General: Bania Mahur
Alternate People Names:
MahuriMahuri Bais
बनिया, महुर
ROP3 Code: 115165
Joshua Project People ID: 19713
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 872,000
Population all Countries: 873,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Bania
People Name General: Bania Mahur
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Hindi (336,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hin    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Sindhi (254,000)Marwari (69,000)
Dhundari (42,000)Gujarati (41,000)
Shekhawati (24,000)Marathi (24,000)
Merwari (9,100)Bagri (8,900)
Bhojpuri (8,400)Punjabi, Eastern (7,600)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 35
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.18 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.82 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1806-1962
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1818-2000
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoA Beautiful Hope (
Film / VideoA Pilgrimage (
Film / VideoAasha - Hope (
Film / VideoCoconuts (
Film / VideoCreation to Christ (
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoHaqeeqat Episode 6 (
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoTen Virgins (
Film / VideoThe Final Prodigal (
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Price of Life (
Film / VideoYeshu Satsang (
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
GeneralYeshu Samaj
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Hindi Holy Bible
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterChrist for the Nations
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterHindi Bible
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Bania Mahur in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bania     South Asia    
      Bania Mahur India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bania Mahur in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Hindi  
    All Religions                              

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