The Tharu are a cluster of people groups that occupy the Nepali Terai, a narrow strip of arid land in Southern Nepal along the border with India. Immigration from India in the 90s pushed the Tharu out of the best areas. There may be as many as 500,000 Tharu people in this area, although efforts by the majority Indian immigrant population that classify all inhabitants as “Maithili” speakers makes exact numbers difficult. Some Tharu groups are known as cattle herdsman and others specialize in cultivation of certain crops.
Traditionally, the Tharu are animists, but the local political structure has forced them to incorporate Hindu rituals and festivals. There are Christians among the Tharu, but they are geographically separated and lack of complete language affinity makes it difficult for them to have an impact. The Ancient Path project has completed translations of the Gospel booklet for two of the largest Tharu groups, and now we're ready to begin printing and distribution. The wonderful thing about the Tharu is that they live in an area that is easily accessible and they are open and receptive to the Gospel message. Pray that the few local evangelists can use the Gospel booklet in these mother tongues to gain access to these people and bring them the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.