Introduction / History Ethnically, the Chakma are Tibeto-Burman, and are related to people groups in the mountains of northeast India and Myanmar. The Chakma are in many ways more culturally southeast Asian than south Asian. For instance, they neither have the dietary restrictions nor the strict gender segregation of their Bengali neighbors. It is believed their ancestors came from Arakan state in Myanmar. Historically the Chakma were rulers of certain areas of the present day Chittagong Hill Tracts. Today, however, the power of the Chakma king is no more than an association chief (Wikipedia "Chakma people" 2007).
There are Christians and churches among the Chakma. Not all these people call themselves Christian, since doing so means the non-Christians will not want to cooperate with them. Growth in the church is happening though rather slowly.
More than 430,000 Chakma people inhabit Bangladesh and adjoining areas of northeast India. Approximately 300,000 live in the Chittagong Hills area of southeast Bangladesh, including Chittagong City. (Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)