Introduction / History
Until the 20th century, the Ramdasia people were part of the either the Chamars, a very low status group of leather workers, or the Julahas, a caste of weavers. One of the ways they found to escape their low status was to convert to another religion, usually Sikhism. A smaller number converted to Islam, though the majority of the Ramdasia people remain Hindu.
Where are they located?
Most Ramdasia people are usually either Hindu or Sikh, but there is a small Muslim community in Pakistan and western India.
What are their lives like?
Once known primarily as basket weavers and leather workers, today many Ramdasias have advanced in areas of agriculture, business and education.
What are their beliefs?
Muslim Ramdasia people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoken through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Ramdasia depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What are their needs?
The Ramdasia people, be they Sikh, Hindu or Muslim, need to put their faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can bless them with abundant life and eternal salvation from sin and death.
* Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Ramdasia people, be they Hindu, Sikh or Muslim.
* Pray for a movement of Ramdasia households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive Muslim Ramdasia people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Muslim Ramdasia people.
Text source: Keith Carey