Introduction / History
One source considers "Bediya" to be the generic name of a number of vagrant, nomadic groups. Traditionally, a large section of the Bedia were reported to be earning a livelihood from prostitution and dancing. Most live in India, but there are some in Bangladesh and Nepal.
What are their lives like?
Members of the Bedia community can earn lots of money through prostitution, so it's hard to get them to move onto something with less pay. Marriage looks bleak to them compared with the pay they get in prostitution. They often start this line of work in their teens and continue well into their 30s. Some have to stop early if they get AIDS. No matter what occupation Bedia people take today, they struggle with low status and possible contempt from others. They also face discrimination issues for being part of a religious minority in Muslim Bangladesh.
What are their beliefs?
The Bedia worship deities like Thakur, Shiva, Parvati, Hanuman, Chamunda, Kali and Sitala and Khermata (a local deity).
What are their needs?
Giving up allegiance to personal deities may be threatening. Pray for the Bedia people to be delivered from their fear of "Christendom" and to embrace God's blessing through his Word for their families and clans.
Pray the few followers of Jesus among the Bedia will have pastors and teachers to help them grow to become faithful disciples. Pray that new Bedia disciples will be taught accurately, and that they will make more disciples. Pray the Bedia will make schooling a priority for their children and will be able to improve their standard of living.
Text source: Joshua Project