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Iruliga in India

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Iruliga in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
16,000 Kannada Hinduism 0.01 % Unknown   

Iruliga in India

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Introduction / History
The Iruliga are a small tribal people who live in south India. The Iruliga were traditionally hunters and gatherers of forest products. They call themselves the devotees of the forest. They used to live in caves but with the help of the government have built houses of stone with tile roofs. The Iruliga used to catch and eat rats and snakes, which gained them the distain of others. As the wildlife of the forests declined, the Iruliga became agricultural workers.

The Iruliga are a Scheduled Tribe meaning that they are eligible for public jobs and special university admissions. The literacy of the Iruliga is quite low although this is beginning to change with access to government schools for their children. The main language of the Iruliga is Kannada. A whole Bible and many Christian resources are available in Kannada.

Where are they located?
The Iruliga people live in the south Indian state of Karnataka.

What are their lives like?
Like most tribal peoples of India, the Iruliga live in poverty. The government gave their forestlands to others. Most Iruliga, including their children, now work as landless farm workers. They work on land that produces tea, coffee, rice, bananas, palm products, and nuts. Some collect and sell firewood. The Iruliga marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the normal practice. Sons inherit the property of their father. Families arrange marriages. Girls are often married at a young age. The Iruliga are not vegetarian but as Hindus will not eat beef. Rice and vegetables are their stables.

Dancing plays a large part in Iruliga life rituals. Both the men and women dance to drums in funerals, weddings and births.

What are their beliefs?
The Iruliga people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods whom they believe will give them favor and protection. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. The Iruliga make statues of their gods with mud.

As with other tribal peoples, the Hinduism of the Iruliga is heavily mixed with animism, the belief that spirits inhabit the objects of nature. These spirits must be appeased or they can bring disaster upon the Iruliga community.

What are their needs?
The Iruliga have many needs. They need access to modern medicine and schools for their children. Solar panels can bring electricity for appliances. They need to learn new job skills so they can advance in Indian society. Most of all, they need to hear and respond to the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and deliver them from their fear of evil spirits.

Prayer Points
Pray for the Lord to raise up a strong disciple making movement to saturate the hearts and minds of the Iruliga people.
Pray for God's blessing, strengthening and healing of Iruliga families and communities within this people group through the abundant life Jesus offers to all who call on His name.
Pray for God's blessing on the leaders in this people group, along with their families, and for their communities to welcome and enjoy God's blessing.
Pray for the Lord to multiply the reception and influence of His Word among this people group, leading them to love Him with their whole being.


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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:16,000
Largest States:
Karnataka (16,000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Iruliga
People Name General: Iruliga
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114455
Joshua Project People ID: 18776
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 16,000
Population all Countries: 16,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Iruliga
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kannada (13,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kan    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Telugu (400)Tamil (200)
Tulu (30)Malayalam (Unknown)
Marathi (Unknown)
Total Languages: 6
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism98.97 % 
Islam0.11 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.01 % 
Unknown0.89 % 
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

Iruliga in India

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

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