People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka

Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
105,000 Tamil Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Paraiyan or Paraiyar are an agricultural Hindu people who live in south India and Sri Lanka. Their name comes from the Tamil word for drum. The Paraiyan are known for making drums and playing them at weddings and Hindu festivals. The English word "pariah" may come from this people. As the numbers of this people increased, they had to take jobs that other castes would not take such as dealing with corpses and tanning leather. The primary language of the Paraiyan is Tamil. Illiteracy is a big issue for the Paraiyan as less than half of them are able to read and write. Many resources are available in Tamil including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film. Most Paraiyan will have to have the gospel given to them in oral and visual forms.

What are their lives like?
Most Paraiyan make their living in agriculture and animal husbandry. For the most part they work on land owned by higher castes. To supplement their incomes, they make baskets and mats. A few Paraiyan have been able to attend universities and become physicians, politicians and administrators. The Paraiyan marry within their people group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young couple. Monogamy or marriage to one spouse in the general rule. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. Parents encourage their sons to get at least a primary education. Girls often have to quit school after a few years to help their families. Paraiyan are not vegetarians but as Hindus do not eat beef. Due to their poverty the Paraiyan often eat meat only on holidays or special occasions. Their dead are cremated.

What are their beliefs?
The Paraiyan practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of Indian subcontinent. 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 Paraiyan visit Hindu shrines 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 do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Paraiyan people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday. The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. Dalits such as the Paraiyan are outside of the caste system and face discrimination.

What are their needs?
The Paraiyan have major physical and spiritual needs. At least half need to learn to read and write. They need to learn new job skills to escape the cycle of poverty. Most of all the Paraiyan must hear the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them eternal life.

Prayer Points
Pray that God establishes the Paraiyan believers in the faith and uses them to share the gospel with their families and friends. Pray that Hindu background believers build relationships with the Paraiyan and help meet their spiritual and physical needs. Pray for a movement to Jesus to multiply among Paraiyan families and communities.

View Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-09-27
  Submit Update:
Country: Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:105,000
Largest Provinces:
Central (62,000)Uva (18,000)
Sabaragamuwa (12,000)Western (6,800)
Southern (2,000)Eastern (1,200)
Northern (900)North Western (700)
North Central (200)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)
People Name General: Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)
Alternate People Names:
Christian Adi DravidaParayan
Parayan ChristianPariah
SambavarSambavar Christian
Veppur Parayanपरैयाँ
ROP3 Code: 113318
Joshua Project People ID: 17844
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 105,000
Population all Countries: 2,575,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
People Name General: Paraiyan (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Tamil
Language Code (ISO): tam    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Malayalam (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
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
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1714-1956
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1727-2021
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 RecordingsGeneral Ministry Resources
Audio RecordingsLove letter to you from scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsRecorded oral Bible
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tamil
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
GeneralComprehensive list of Tamil Resources
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 as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: Tamil
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Tamil
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Dalit - other     Asia, South    
      Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) Sri Lanka    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Paraiyan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Tamil  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: