Approximately 13,630,000 Southeastern Gond live in the forests and hills of southern India. They are primarily concentrated in the state of Andhra Pradesh, south of the Godavari River and adjoining districts north of the river. They generally refer to themselves as Koi or Koya, which means “mountain people.”
The Southeastern Gond survive by farming, hunting, and eating the fruits of the forest. Although most Gond are Hindus, some Gond are animists (believe that non-living objects have spirits). They believe the forest is the dwelling place of the gods and ancestral spirits. Their society is basically patriarchal (male-dominated) and patrilineal (line of descent is traced through the males).
Most Gond are Hindus, worshipping millions of gods and goddesses.
Some important facts about the Gond:
- The Gond were the most important group of the original Indian tribes in their area but were conquered by Muslim armies in 1592.
- Nearly 94% of the Gond are Hindu; only 1% are Christian.
- Girls are married between the ages of 13 and 15, and marriages usually happen in the summer time.
- They believe that sicknesses are caused by evil spirits and prefer going to a witch doctor over going to a health clinic.
- The Southeastern Gond believe in a supreme god named Deur. They believe that he resides high above the sky and that he created everything.
- There are only a few known Southeastern Gond believers.
- Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Andhra Pradesh and share Christ with the Southeastern Gond.
- Pray that present efforts to share God’s love may increase despite opposition.
- Ask God to encourage and protect the small number of Southeastern Gond Christians.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Southeastern Gond so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
- Pray that God will save key Gond leaders who will boldly declare the Gospel to their own.