Jun 23, 2012
Mind on Missions: Gypsy, Domari of Iran
Gypsies originated in India where they worked as musicians, entertainers and metal workers. There they were discriminated against and excluded from the temples. Later, they were sent to Persia as minstrels. From there they were separated into two groups. One traveled northward and became the Romany-speaking European Gypsies. The other traveled southward and became known as the Domari, or Middle Eastern Gypsies. There are about 756,000 Domari in Iran.
Values such as justice, fidelity, and morality are very significant in Gypsy society. Such things as courtesy and friendliness are also very important. The control of deviants is strictly enforced. If a Gypsy becomes impure by some immoral or unlawful act, he is considered an outcast. Also, sexual purity is considered a must for young girls. In fact, it must be proven before marriage that the girl has never before been with a man. This strict social code is related to their old Hindu caste system which they have kept since their origin.
What are their beliefs?
The Middle East Gypsies are often Muslim and they follow the practices and beliefs of the Islamic faith. The traditional beliefs of the Gypsies – i.e., that ghosts, lizards, and snakes are capable of harming humans, that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye," and that some people have the power to heal the sick – are no longer held by most Gypsies. There are a growing number of Christian Gypsies.
What are their needs?
The quality of health care, nutrition, housing and education is poor. Adequate educational opportunities must be provided in order to raise their standard of living.
Spiritually, the Islamic religion is very difficult to influence. Their nomadic lifestyle has also made it difficult for missionaries to reach them. It is encouraging to hear of recent breakthroughs in ministering to Gypsies.
Most Gypsies have no Christian resources available to them. Christian broadcasts and Scriptures must be made available if they are to hear the Gospel. Christian workers are needed to teach them how to live lives pleasing to God.
Pray that God will reach these people with his life-changing Gospel.
information from www.joshuaproject.net