South Asian Unengaged Peoples

The Tondman, numbering 537,000, is a very large unengaged, unreached people group in southern Tamil Nadu, India. They are Tamil speakers, and in their culture, the children are named by an elderly woman who pronounces the child’s name three times into its ears on the 16th day after birth. Interestingly, the firstborn in each family is cremated, and the other children are buried when they die. The Tondman are Hindu, and their main caste deity is Sasta. Traditionally, their occupation has been limestone burning, in which they break the larger limestone into smaller pieces, mix them with charcoal, and then burn them. The burnt stone or powder is then sold in the marketplace. Pray that the Tondman will come to faith so that one day, when the elderly women hold the children to name them, those women will whisper Christian names over the children because, like Simeon, the women will have seen God’s salvation “that [He has] prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the [Hindu] Gentiles” (Luke 2:30-32 ESV).