The Tili derive their name from the Sanskrit word talika, or taila, used for the oil extracted from sesame and mustard, thus referring to their traditional occupation. There are many subgroups, perhaps more than 100. Vermilion, bracelets, a finger-ring, ear-rings, and a nose-stud are the symbols of married women, but this varies by location. Marriage is solemnized according to Hindu Vedic rites at the bride's residence. They traditionally do not accept food from lower castes such as the Chamar, Sansi, Gadhilla, Dade, and Bangalee. They are Hindu and worship family, village and regional deities, such as Ganesh, Manasa, Kali, Thakurani, and Gamota. They have sacred specialists from their own and other communities who perform rites connected with life-cycle rituals and who treat diseases.
Most Hindu Tili live in West Bengal. There are believers in this state, but many are nominal believers. There are relatively few thriving, Biblically-based churches.
Most Hindu Tili speak the Bengali language, and there is a wealth of resources available in that language. Please pray for widespread scripture availability, as well as other resources such as Gospel recordings and the Jesus film.
Once the Tili people begin to come to Christ in saving faith they will need disciplers, mature Christians who can help them grow properly in the faith.
Please pray this caste group will be given an interest in Jesus, and that they will be accurately taught who he is and what he has done on their behalf. Pray for the light of the Gospel to penetrate the spiritual darkness.
"I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations ... Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth." Psalm 57:9-11