Introduction / History
The Chhipa claim that they were once Rajputs who were imprisoned by Taimur (a Turco-Mongol conqueror from the 1300s) and they escaped and became known as "Chhipa" Rajputs, after the Hindi word for hidden. Others say the word "Chhipa" is connected with a Hindi word for "to print."
The word "rangrez" means a dyer in the Persian language, and the community has been connected with this occupation, while others were tailors and washermen. They have three subdivisions: the Lalgarh, Nilgarh, and Chhipi. Chhipi are placed in the lowest position, because they dyed and printed clothes whereas the Lalgarh and Nilgarh generally prepare color from indigo.
Though most live in India, many Rangrez people, including members of the Chhipa subgroup, have immigrated to Pakistan. Today members of the Chhipa community live scattered throughout central India and in Pakistan's Sindh Province.
What are their lives like?
Today the Chhipa people are either involved with their traditional work of printing on cloth while others are either small businessmen or farmers.
What are their beliefs?
The Chhipa people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
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.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
They also visit the shrines of various Sufi saints in hopes of gaining favor from those whom they believe are close enough to Allah to answer their prayers.
What are their needs?
The Chhipa people who work as cloth printers need new markets for their products. Perhaps people of faith can be used of God to help them find new markets outside of Pakistan.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work mightily in their communities, blessing them in every way.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Chhipa people a love for God's word and a desire to spread its influence.
Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
Text source: Joshua Project