Introduction / History
The Musilm Bansphors or Basors are converts from Hinduism. The time and circumstances of their conversion is unclear. The large majority of Bansphors continue in the Hindu faith. The word Bansphor means "bamboo splitter" in Hindi.
The Bansphors reside in northern India. They are a Scheduled Caste, which means they are eligible for reserved places in government work and universities. They speak Urdu, Awahdi and Khari Boli.
Where are they located?
The Bansphors live in the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
What are their lives like?
The majority of the Muslim Bansphors continue in their traditional job of making bamboo furniture and household items. Some also work as landless agricultural laborers. Some young educated Bansphors have moved to cities and work in government and business careers. Most Bansphors still live in villages. The Bansphors fall witin the Sudra caste, The Sudra are the lowest of the four main castes of Hinduism. The Bansphors sell their bamboo items at town markets and shops.
The Muslim Bansphors marry within their group. They often marry cousins. Families arrange the marriages. They tend to practice adult marriage rather than child marriage. Monogamy or marriage to one spouse in the general rule while polygamy or a husband having more than one wife is accepted.
The Bansphor sons inherit property from their parents. They live in extended families near or with the husband's parents.
What are their beliefs?
The Muslim Bansphors are Sunnis Muslims, the largest group within Islam. Along with Islam, they engage in folk religious practices like appeasing evil spirits.
As Sunnis the Bansphor celebrate Muslim holidays such as Eid Al-Fitr, the end of the fast of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son.
What are their needs?
The Bansphors need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They would benefit by having more vocational choices than making bamboo items and working as farm laborers. As a poorer group in Indian society, they need access to modern medicine and education.
Pray the Bansphors would make another religious conversion, this time to become followers of Jesus Christ.
Pray that other Muslim background Indian Christians would reach out to the Bansphors.
Pray the Lord would cause many Bansphor to believe in Christ and that He would plant a Bible believing church in the Muslim Bansphor community.
ReferencesView Bansphor (Muslim traditions) in all countries.