Introduction / History
The word Kanchan comes a Sanskrit word meaning "gold." The Muslim Kanchan tribe lives in Pakistan. They were labeled a "criminal tribe" during British colonial rule, branded as such by their fellow countrymen. Even today the Kanchan have a bad reputation for petty thief and begging. Many Kanchan still travel around the country in a lifestyle similar to the Roma Gypsies. Some have settled down and make their living as agricultural and unskilled laborers.
The main language of the Kanchan is Western Punjabi. A whole Bible and the JESUS Film are available in Western Punjabi. Illiteracy is a major problem for the Kanchan.
Where are they located?
Most Kanchan live in central Pakistan. Others are found traveling across the nation looking for work.
What are their lives like?
The Kanchan earned a poor reputation among their peers by engaging in a variety of illicit activities. They regularly pay homage to their ancestors through prayer and the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The Pakistani government has encouraged the Kanchan to live in one place and take up legal means of making a living like farming and taking care of animals. Due lack of education and job skills, the Kanchan must take the most menial jobs. The vast majority of Kanchan live in poverty. Many Kanchan still travel as their ancestors have for hundreds of year making money any way they can by legal and illegal means. Women make money by working as domestics and by fortune telling.
The Kanchan marry within their group but not within their clan. Families arrange marriages. The leading elder of a Kanchan group is a passed from father to son.
The primary foods of the Kanchan are wheat, rice, dairy products and vegetables. As Muslims, they will not eat pork.
What are their beliefs?
The Kanchan are Sunni Muslims with a strong element of folk religion. Islam is a major world religion that is based on five essential duties or "pillars": (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day one must pray while facing Mecca. (3) One must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) One must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) One must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his or her lifetime.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
What are their needs?
The needs of the Muslim Kanchan are many. They need education for their children. They need to learn new job skill so they can find legal employment opportunities. Most of all, they need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ so they can escape their lives of spiritual poverty.
Pray for laborers to sow God's Word to persons and households of peace, which will in turn catalyze movements to Christ among the Muslim Kanchan people.
Pray for a movement to Jesus to multiply among Kanchan households.
Ask God to deliver families and communities within the Kanchan people from fears that hinder them from embracing His blessings.
ReferencesView Kanchan (Muslim traditions) in all countries.