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Khmer in Laos

Khmer

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Khmer in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
7,200 Khmer Buddhism 3.00 % 1.60 %   

Khmer in Laos

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Introduction / History
The Cambodians, also known as the Central Khmer, are refugees from the war-torn country of Cambodia. Many now live in the southwestern tip of Laos, at the borders of Thailand and Cambodia. They speak Khmer (Cambodian), which is an Eastern Mon-Khmer language.

The great Khmer Empire, which flourished between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, encompassed present-day Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and southern Vietnam. Its power declined when the Thai and Vietnamese conquered the Khmer and restricted them to the area that now known as Cambodia.

In 1970, Cambodia became the killing fields of the Vietnam War. Thousands fled to Thailand and Laos in hopes of finding a more peaceful climate. Unfortunately, Laos has also had many invasions, as well as a series of land wars. It was also the object of political competition between Vietnam, Russia, and China.

What are their lives like?
In 1975, the Khmer Rouge regime nearly destroyed Cambodia. To depopulate the cities, three million people were forced into the countryside to do slave labor. Widespread starvation led to the deaths of over one million people in the name of "the ideal of rural social reform." The people either fled north into Thailand, or took the "trail of tears" into Communist Laos where they did not find the sanctuary they sought. Instead, they struggled to find clothing, shelter, medical resources, and food.

Most Cambodians in Laos inhabit small villages. There, they grow rice in irrigated paddies. The villagers commonly use red and white checkered cloth to make everything from headdresses to pouches for carrying babies.

More men than women were killed between 1975 and 1979, creating a skewed sex ratio among the Cambodian. Today, mostly widows and orphans remain, requiring many women to perform the duties that once belonged to the men.

The Cambodians have a simple social structure. Each village has its own chief, and there is no political structure beyond the village. The village chief is the link between the people and the central government. Village leadership is usually divided; the chief has authority in secular matters, while the Buddhist monk has authority in religious issues. The Buddhist Wat, or temple, is the center of village life, and Buddhist rules of conduct are used to maintain social control. These rules of conduct include abstaining from lying, stealing, drinking alcoholic beverages, committing adultery, and killing living creatures.

The Cambodians have acquired the languages and cultures of their Laotian neighbors. Ancient Khmer influences on the Lao are strong as well, giving the two groups a common ancestral bond; yet the Lao see the Cambodian as a lower class. Traditional Khmer music reflects a tie to Indonesia. Folk dancing and the classical royal ballet are also popular.

What are their beliefs?
The former Khmer Empire was influenced by India, from which it adopted Hinduism and Buddhism. Today, the majority of the Cambodians in Laos are Buddhist. However, relics of ethnic religions such as ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors for guidance) and spirit worship are very important to them.

Due to Buddhist influence, Cambodians also seek the middle path to nirvana, or ultimate peace through gaining merit in this life. Merit may be gained through supporting the construction of new Buddhist temples, giving food to Buddhist monks, and studying in the monastery. Peasant boys often became monks in order to gain an education in Buddhist monasteries.

What are their needs?
The Cambodians left their homeland in search of peace. Unfortunately, the peace they desired has not been found in Laos. Many need food and shelter, as well as emotional healing from the fears and horrors of war. Most importantly, they need loving Christians who will introduce them to the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Laos and share Christ with Cambodians.
* Pray that God will grant favor to any missions agencies that are currently focusing on the Cambodians.
* Pray that God will use the few Cambodian believers to share the love of Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to send Christian humanitarian aid workers to Laos to minister to the physical needs of these war-torn people.
* Ask God to call forth prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be planted among the Cambodians of Laos.

View Khmer in all countries.

Prayer Links  
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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:19 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:2
Location in Country:Attapu and Champasak provinces
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Khmer
People Name General: Khmer
Alternate People Names:
CambodiansCentral Khmer
Cu ThoCur
KampucheanKhmer Krom
Khmer Nam BoKhmer, Northern
Kho MeKhơ-me
KmerKu
MienThai-Khmer
West Cham
ROP3 Code: 104946
Joshua Project People ID: 12662
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 7,200
Population all Countries: 16,278,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Khmer
Ethnic Code: AUG03b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Khmer (7,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): khm    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism83.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 1.60 %)
Ethnic Religions8.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam2.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
Other / Small1.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent8.00 %
Protestant50.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian37.00 %
Roman Catholic5.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1899-1933
New Testament:
1929-1993Audio
Complete Bible: 1954-2016
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFather's Love Letter
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Central (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Khmer, Central
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Khmer, Central
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRatchana's Testimony
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoVoices of Cambodia - Bihab
Film / VideoYesterday is Over
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Khmer Christian Bible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Khmer Standard Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: The Holy Bible in Khmer Old Versi ...
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Khmer in Laos

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Khmer Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Khmer in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Khmer  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=12662&rog3=LA