Introduction / History
The Zerbadi are a subgroup of the greater Rohingya people. In historical perspective Rakhine, the home of the Rohingya people, is more a frontier province of eastern India than a province of Burma (now called Myanmar). From the very early days till the arrival of the Mongolians and Tibeto-Burmans in the 10th century, Rakhine was an Indian land with a population similar to Bengal. The spread of Islam in Rakhine during those early times and the impact of Islamic civilization on Rakhine particularly after Bengal became Muslim in 1203 A.D is well known.
Islam reached Rakhine in the late 8th century AD and attracted the local people to come to Islam en masse. Since then Islam played an important role towards the advancement of civilization in Rakhine. Muslims ruled Rakhine between 1430 to 1638. The system of government (Muslim sultanates) was common in those days. It was an independent Muslim kingdom in the 14th and 15th centuries.
More recently Rohingya people have been violently persecuted by the Myanmar government, which calls them "non-natives" because they are not Buddhists like the Burmese majority. Thousands had to flee for their lives. They were denied citizenship in Myanmar and have been described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Where are they located?
Sadly, there are no Zerbadi Rohingyas left in Myanmar. They have a small population in Bangladesh.
What are their lives like?
This people group has been rejected by the Buddhist peoples in Myanmar, but also by their fellow Muslims in Bangladesh. They would love to find a place of peace and acceptance.
What are their beliefs?
The Rohingya people are almost all Sunni Muslims. Their hope is in the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith, not in the person of Jesus Christ.
What are their needs?
The Rohingya need a safe place to live. They need freedom from violent oppression, and the opportunity to earn a good living, and have their children get an education.
* Pray for the Zerbadi Rohingya people to find safe refuge in Bangladesh and other nations.
* Pray for them to find jobs and schools so they can get re-established.
* The Rohingya people have very little chance to hear that Jesus Christ offers them much more than they could ever imagine. Pray for the Zerbadi Rohingyas in Bangladesh to be reached by the Lord through dreams, visions, and through Christian materials on the Internet.
Text source: Keith Carey