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Adi Dravida in Sri Lanka

Adi Dravida

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Adi Dravida in Sri Lanka map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,349,000 Tamil Hinduism 0.20 % Unknown   

Adi Dravida in Sri Lanka

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Introduction / History
At one time this community was called "Paraiyar," which is considered a derisive name with reference to slavery. British colonialists did not want any people group under their watch to be considered slaves, so they changed the name to Adi Dravida.

According to one hypothesis, this community was once associated with drumming. They might have drummed at important events like festivals, weddings and funerals. As their population increased, they had to take up other jobs that were considered "unclean," since they had low caste status.

Where are they located?
Most Adi Dravida people live in India's southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, but over a million of them live in northern Sri Lanka.

What are their lives like?
The Adi Dravida of Sri Lanka are a low status community. The word 'Adi' means 'beginning'. Whether in India or Sri Lanka, most Adi Dravida people hold low-paying, low status jobs.

Their literacy level is said to be less than 50 percent, so the gospel message should be given in oral form also. They speak Tamil, which is a major language in southern India and northern Sri Lanka. There are many gospel oriented materials in this language.

What are their beliefs?
There was an effort in the 1890s to convert them en masse to Buddhism. This didn't work. Today there are now many Christians from this community in India, but only a few in Sri Lanka. They are mainly Hindus who have their own set of favorite gods.

What are their needs?
The Adi Dravida people need to be given the opportunity to get the education they need to excel in the 21st century.

Prayer Points
* Pray for believers among the Adi Dravidas in India to go to their cousins in Sri Lanka with the gospel.
* Pray for spiritual hunger and discernment for the Adi Dravida people.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among them in both countries.


View Adi Dravida in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-09-26
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Country: Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:45 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Adi Dravida
People Name General: Adi Dravida
Alternate People Names:
Adi DravidarChakkiliyan
Sambanआदि ड्रॅविडा
ROP3 Code: 111266
Joshua Project People ID: 16164
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,349,000
Population all Countries: 11,168,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tamil
People Name General: Adi Dravida
Ethnic Code: CNN23c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tamil (1,349,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tam    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.80 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1714-1956
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1727-2002
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFathers Love Letter
Audio RecordingsGeneral Ministry Resources
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGeneral Ministry Resources
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tamil
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Old Version Bible
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Adi Dravida in Sri Lanka

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tamil     South Asia    
      Adi Dravida Sri Lanka    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Adi Dravida in Sri Lanka          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Tamil  
    All Religions                              

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