Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Sansis were under the Criminal Tribes Act during the British rule of India, and it was a source of disgrace for their community. That stigma is with them today making life difficult for them. They are sometimes shunned by other communities, giving them a reason to withdraw from outsiders. Many were ejected from Rajasthan by Muslims in the 13th century, but they are still concentrated there. They also live in the highly unreached states of Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandigarh. A small number are in Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
Some of the Sansi are landless farmers and day laborers while others sell alcoholic drinks. Some of their children work in shops. A small number are nomadic. Unfortunately, most of the Sansi live in poverty. They have a low literacy level, so the gospel will need to be presented in oral form. They are secluded from other communities partly because they are rejected as "criminals," and partly as a way of defending themselves from outsider. They have a caste council to look after their needs and to settle disputes among them.
What are their beliefs?
The Sansi 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 Hindu Sansis need the chance to advance economically and socially.
Pray for spiritual hunger among the Hindu Sansis in Pakistan. Pray for all to have the chance to hear and respond to the life-changing gospel. Pray for them to turn their hearts to Jesus Christ. Pray for Hindu Sansi elders will open their door for the gospel to come to their people.
ReferencesView Sansi (Hindu traditions) in all countries.