January 8, 2015
From the Bay of Bengal to the Himalayas, the region of West Bengal stretches across the far-eastern portion of India. Tea gardens are plentiful amidst the landscape of lush hills and mountains. With 91 million people, it is India’s 4th most populous state. It is also home to the highest concentration of Bairagi people in the world.
Over 3.6 million Bairagis reside in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Their roots date back to the 11th and 12th centuries in the days of Ramanuja, one of Hinduism’s most famed teachers and philosophers. They can be distinguished by the “talik” on their foreheads, a mark that is painted to the bridge of the nose.
While the Bairagi people number into the millions, they lack any Christian presence in their communities. Their culture is 100% Hindu and conversion from the faith is considered a threat to peace. Ministry in the region is further complicated by a rising threat of persecution to Christians in India and Nepal.
The harsh reality is that Bairagis need Jesus. Without any outreach, missionary, or Christian presence, they will die without ever hearing the Gospel. But you can get involved.
Pray. Ask God to raise up missionaries to the region with opportunities to serve the Bairagi people. Even more, pray for local believers in the surrounding communities. Ask God to provide new opportunities for them to share Christ and cultivate new churches in the area. The people are blessed with full Bible translations in their language but they still need believers willing to go.
Go. You could be the answer to your own prayer. Consider joining an expedition to India or Nepal where you can partner with local believers to serve unreached and unengaged people groups with the Gospel. With just one week, you can be a part of a Gospel movement that is taking off across South Asia with the potential of reaching the Bairagi people.