Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Valmiki are also called Balmiki. They are a caste of street sweepers with low status. Though most live in India, they are also in the other South Asian nations of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
What are their lives like?
Valmiki people face discrimination from a young age. At school their children are given derisive names. They are treated like they cannot learn by public school teachers. Those who work in parks clean things up, then take a stroll in the park only to be told to leave either by high caste members or by the police. If they resist, the police will beat them. Valmiki women are sexually abused by high caste men. There is nothing they can do about it.
Since the root of these problems is in the Hindu based caste system, some Valmiki have changed to a different religion. Most commonly they become Buddhist, but others have adopted Islam or Sikhism.
What are their beliefs?
Most Valmiki people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples 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 or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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.
What are their needs?
The Valmiki people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.
Pray for the Valmiki people in Bangladesh to have the justice they need.
Pray for them to find their identity and sense of worth in the God who gave them life, and the savior who offers them life to the full.
Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Valmiki people in Bangladesh.
Pray God will have mercy on the Valmiki, doing whatever it takes to place them in a position to receive him.
Ask God to open the hearts of the Valmiki to the gospel.
ReferencesView Valmiki (Hindu traditions) in all countries.