Introduction / History
Between the 16th and 18th centuries the Baghban people migrated from western India to Uttar Pradesh. A smaller number moved further norther into what is now Nepal. The Baghban's name derives from their occupation. It means "gardener."
Where are they located?
The Muslim Baghban people are spread far and wide. As a result, they speak at least eight languages. You can find them in both the rural and urban parts of India and Pakistan, and a smaller number in Nepal.
What are their lives like?
Most of the Baghban people are agriculturalists who raise vegetables on small plots. However, others engage in wholesale and retail sales of fruits. They have a Facebook site of some 2,000 members. Although they speak Awalhi, they use Urdu as a trade language. Many in Nepal, no doubt, speak Nepali.
They only marry within their own community, which indicates that anyone who wanted to plant churches among them would probably not be able to include them with other Muslim Background Believers (MBB). Parents decide whom their children will marry. Often they marry a cousin. A man can have more than one wife, but this is rare.
What are their beliefs?
In Nepal the Baghban people are solidly Sunni Muslim. They believe the words of their prophet, Mohammed, as spelled out in the Koran. Allah is the god of creation, and a good Muslim should be fully committed to Allah. Though orthodox Islam frowns on such practices, the Baghbans visit the tombs of their saints in the hope that these saints will intercede for them before Allah, the god of Islam. Some of them join Hindus in their festival of Holi. We know of no followers of Christ among them.
What are their needs?
The Baghban community needs to hear about what Jesus can do for them as individuals, as families, and as communities. There are evangelistic materials available to them.
* Pray that God will open Baghban hearts to the gospel and will raise up people of peace to tell them of Jesus.
* Pray that God will reveal himself in dreams and visions and send believers who can explain those dreams and visions to them.
* Pray that many will be drawn to read or listen to gospel resources.
* Pray that churches will adopt this people group and support those seeking to win them to become part of God's family.
* Pray for a disciple-making movement among the Baghban people in Nepal, Pakistan, and India.
Text source: Keith Carey