Introduction / History
The Jats are not a homogeneous ethnic group living in a particular area and speaking a single language. Rather, they are a people who live scattered around the world among several ethnic groups, yet retain their own identity. This distinction is often based on occupation and heritage.
Historically Jats were renowned for their courage, honesty, and bravery. During the British control of India, Sir Lepal Griffin said that, "The Jat race is, for honesty, strength, and courage, second to no race on earth."
Jats are divided among clans. Among the Jat peoples, Gil can refer to either a surname or a clan. The Gil Jat clan is mainly found in the Punjab regions straddling eastern Pakistan and northwestern India. It is one of the largest and most aristocratic of the Jat clans.
Where are they located?
There are few Hindu Jats in Pakistan from the Gil clan; they are much more numerous in northwestern India. Most Hindu Gil Jats in Pakistan reside in the Punjab Province.
What are their lives like?
The Jats are noted for their skills as soldiers and as farmers. Many Jat Muslims in Pakistan have dominant roles in public life especially in the Punjab Province, but their Hindu counterparts do not share this privilege.
What are their beliefs?
There are Sikh, Hindu and Muslim Gil Jats, but the Muslims dominate in Pakistan. Regardless of their religious affiliation, all Jats observe many ceremonies, especially rites of passage such as circumcision and initiation into adulthood. There are few Hindu Jats in Pakistan from the Gil clan.
Hindu Jats adhere to a wide variety of traditional practices which usually revolve around seeking good fortune and blessings from the gods. They do not believe in one supreme being who holds all power.
What are their needs?
Gil Jats, whether they are Sikh, Hindu, or Muslim, need to know that there is a salvation in none other than the sinless savior, Jesus Christ. They need to put their faith in His work on the cross to pay for our sins, and in the resurrection. It will take a work of God to convince these self-assured people that they must trust Christ with their eternity.
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out additional laborers into Pakistan to work among the Gil Jats.
* Pray that Christian doctors, nurses, and humanitarian aid workers will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with Gil Jats.
* Ask God to save key Jat leaders who will boldly proclaim the gospel to their own people.
* Pray that churches and mission organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Jats.
* Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Jats.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth disciple making movements among the Jats for the glory of His name.
Text source: Keith Carey