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Dhimal in India


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Dhimal in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,700 Rangpuri Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Dhimal in India

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Introduction / History
Most Dhimal people live in mountainous nation of Nepal. Some also live in the Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar. The Dhimal are an indigenous people whose former lifestyle involved hunting and gathering in the forests of the Indian subcontinent. Today most Dhimal work as landless, agricultural laborers. Most Dhimal live in poverty with little hope for the future. Illiteracy is a major problem for the Dhimal, especially among women. As a tribal people, the Dhimal are outside of the Hindu caste system. Many Hindus therefore will not associate with them.

The main language of the Dhimal depends upon where they live. They speak Rangpuri, Maithili, Dhimal and Hindi.

Where are they located?
The Dhimal live in villages in northeast India.

What are their lives like?
The Indian government has curtailed Dhimal's former livelihood of hunting and gathering. The Dhimal work long hours in fields owned by others. Besides working in the fields, Dhimal women weave baskets, mats and rugs for cash. If crops fail, the Dhimal face starvation. Dhimal children are often not welcomed at government schools so their cycle of poverty continues.
The main foods of the Dhimal are rice and grains. They are not vegetarians but as Hindus they will not consume beef. Meat is often reserved for special occasions.

The Dhimal marry within their group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit what little property their father owns.

What are their beliefs?
The Dhimal consider themselves Hindus but orthodox Hindus think they are more animists than members of their religion. The Dhimal worship and serve Chaitanya and Nityananda, Hindu mystics of the 16th century, as their patron deities. The Dhimal also worship other deities like Buda Thakur, Sadi Buri, and Kali, the goddess of sex and destruction.

Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Dhimal visit their Hindu shrines and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
The main yearly holidays of the Dhimal people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
There are a few hundred believers among the Dhimal.

What are their needs?
The Dhimal have huge needs. They need help in educating their children and in learning new job skills. They need access to electricity, indoor plumbing and modern medicine. Most of all, the Dhimal need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can forgive their sins and give them hope.

Prayer Points
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Dhimal people in India teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Dhimal families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Dhimal family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.


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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:5,700
Largest States:
West Bengal (3,400)Bihar (2,300)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Dhimal
People Name General: Dhimal
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 102575
Joshua Project People ID: 11544
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,700
Population all Countries: 37,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Dhimal
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Rangpuri (1,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): rkt    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Maithili (1,600)Dhimal (800)
Hindi (600)
Total Languages: 4
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism88.26 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small2.00 % 
Unknown9.75 % 
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: 2008-2011
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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 RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Rangpuri
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Dhimal in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Hindu - other     Asia, South    
      Dhimal India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Dhimal in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Rangpuri  
    All Religions                              

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