Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Paliyan is one of the many ethnic Dravidian (ethnolinguistic and cultural) tribes in Southern India. They are known to reside in the southwestern Ghats Montane rainforests in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are considered a "secluded tribe," meaning they have little contact with outsiders.
What are their lives like?
The Paliyan people lead difficult lives in the forests with little to no support from the government. They live in small groups in remote villages at the foots of hills with minimal resources. Some Paliyan people work in plantations as wage laborers. However, they are primarily traders of forest products such as honey and yams. Yams are also their major food source. The Paliyan people rely on forest herbs and plants for their medicinal needs.
What are their beliefs?
The Paliyan 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 government and other bodies should assist them with their daily needs. The Paliyan need the Holy Spirit to open their eyes so they can see Jesus. They need a means to access the Bible in the remote areas through their work or those in villages next to the forest. "Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your word which is truth." John 17:17
Pray for loving workers to go to the Paliyan people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their savior.
Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that result in thousands of new disciples who share their faith with others.
Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.
ReferencesView Palliyan in all countries.