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Barda in India

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Barda in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,100 Marathi Hinduism 0.62 % Unknown   

Barda in India

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Introduction / History
The Barda or Adivasi are small tribal people who live in west India. The word Barda means "a dweller of the hills" in the Gujarati language. Since they are an indigenous people, they are outside of the Hindu caste system. The Barda are part of the much larger Bhil tribal community. They are a Scheduled Caste meaning they are eligible for reserved pubic jobs and special consideration for university admissions.

Historically, the Barda were a hunter-gatherer people. Today most live in settled rural villages. Their main occupation is farming. The Barda own a few plots of land but most of them work on land owned by others. Very few of the Barda can read and write. Their children either do not attend school or attend for only a few years. The children quit school to help their families make a living in the fields.

The main language of the Barda is Marathi. Some also speak Gujarati and Kannada. Many Christian resources are available in all three languages, but since so many Barda are illiterate, the gospel will need to be presented to them in oral and visual form.

Where are they located?
The Barda people live in India's western states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

What are their lives like?
Poverty and illiteracy plague the Barda people. With little or no education, their prospects for the future are not good. Some Barda young people are becoming educated and moving into India's large cities. They hope to find a better life.

The Barda marry within their group but not within their particular clan. Sons inherit property with the eldest son becoming head of the family upon the death of his father. Marriage to one spouse is the norm.

Most Barda villages do not have electricity, indoors plumbing and access to clean water. Life expectancy is short because most Barda do not enjoy the benefits of modern medicine. Many Barda children die before the age of five. The main foods of the Barda are rice, millet, lentils, and vegetables. As Hindus they will not eat beef. Meat is often reserved for special occasions and holidays.

The Indian government and many NGOs are working to improve the lives of the Barda.

What are their beliefs?
The Barda people practice Hinduism heavily influenced by folk religion. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon and their own tribal deities. 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. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Barda employ their own priests and shamans because Brahmins will not associate with tribal people.

What are their needs?
The Barda have many needs. Solar panel could bring electricity to their villages. NGOs can work to provide the Barda with clean water. The Barda need help in educating their children and in learning new job skills. Most of all, the Barda need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.

Prayer Points
Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Barda people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among the Barda people group.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Barda people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
Pray for the lives and culture of the Barda people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.


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  Submit Update:
Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:4,100
Largest States:
Maharashtra (2,600)Gujarat (1,000)
Karnataka (300)Rajasthan (90)
Goa (50)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Barda
People Name General: Barda
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 111464
Joshua Project People ID: 16328
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,100
Population all Countries: 4,100
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Barda
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Marathi (2,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mar    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Gujarati (800)Kannada (200)
Telugu (100)Hindi (100)
Mewari (80)Bhili (20)
Korwa (20)Tamil (10)
Kacchi (10)Khandesi (10)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 18
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.31 % 
Christianity0.62 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism97.50 % 
Islam1.11 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.03 % 
Unknown0.43 % 
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: 1807-1957
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1821-2022
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 RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture / Bible
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Marathi
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: Marathi
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Marathi
Text / Printed MatterLove letter to you from scripture
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Barda in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Tribal - other     Asia, South    
      Barda India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Barda in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Marathi  
    All Religions                              

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