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Devadasi in India

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Devadasi in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
24,000 Kannada Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Devadasi in India

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Introduction / History
Each year, girls as young as 10 from the Devadasi caste are dedicated to a temple goddess, Uligamma, in a wedding ceremony that begins a lifetime of prostitution. Devadasis believe that when the girl is wed in the temple, the spirit of Uligamma inhabits her for a lifetime.

What are their lives like?
Actual possessions have been reported, but girls have been known to be set free by Jesus. When Hindu priests and other men sleep with these girls, they believe they are actually sleeping with the goddess herself. The girls are used until they are too sick or too old to be desirable. Then they are expected to fend for themselves as best they can through menial labor or begging on the streets. There are official laws against child prostitution, but traditions die hard, and girls in remote villages don't even know about laws enacted hundreds of miles away.

There are people who greatly profit by this practice that ruins many lives, and they will do whatever they can to keep this lucrative trade in place. It is highly secretive, since most people in India, including most Hindus, disapprove of temple prostitution.

There are ministries like Mission India that help women from the Devadasi caste learn new trades while teaching them the ways of Christ.

What are their beliefs?
Officially these women are Hindu. As you can imagine, they probably have a very negative view of their religious system and the gods they worship.

What are their needs?
Devadasis need to understand the dignity and worth God gives them because they are created in his image. This dignity has been stripped from them by the degrading lifestyle forced on them for generations.

Prayer Points
Pray that these women will be able to overcome the trauma, bitterness, hatred, and fear that they have had to deal with in their past life. Pray that many will live victorious lives in Christ that will draw others to Him. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and embolden outreaches to the Devadasis.

Pray that more and more Devadasi women will hear the good news of Jesus and be free and healed to serve Him.


View Devadasi in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-05
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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:24,000
Largest States:
Andhra Pradesh (10,000)Karnataka (7,700)
Tamil Nadu (3,600)Kerala (1,700)
Odisha (600)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Devadasi
People Name General: Devadasi
Alternate People Names:
Kalavathu DevadasiKurmapu
ROP3 Code: 111904
Joshua Project People ID: 16683
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 24,000
Population all Countries: 24,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Devadasi
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kannada (8,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kan    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Telugu (8,300)Tamil (2,300)
Malayalam (1,400)Odia (500)
Total Languages: 5
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism100.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1812-1988
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1827-2022
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 RecordingsLove letter to you from scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture / Bible
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories
Audio RecordingsOral Bible Stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kannada
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
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: Kannada
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Kannada
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

Devadasi in India

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

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