Introduction / History Approximately 2,000 ethnic Khua people live in the northern part of Bouarapha District in Khammouan Province of Laos. A larger number of Khua live across the border in central Vietnam, where they are officially counted as a subgroup of the Bru-Van Kieu minority. Wurm and Hattori, in their 1981 Language Atlas of the Pacific Area did not list a specific population for the Khua in Laos, but did estimate there were a total of 5,000 Khua in both countries.
The Khua are not the same ethno-linguistic group as the Cua - a Bahnaric-speaking group in Vietnam who live further south of the Khua. In Vietnam the Cua have been officially counted as part of the Co ethnic minority.
The Khua language is related to Bru, So, and Mangkong. It is part of the West Katuic branch of the Mon-Khmer family.
The remote area inhabited by the Khua is part of the massive Nakai-Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area. The wildlife area, formed in 1993, measures 3,710 sq. kilometers (1,447 sq.miles) in size. It contains "extensive stands of wet and dry evergreen, old growth pine, cypress and riverside forest…. Over a dozen threatened species live in the area, including elephant (one of the country's largest herds), giant muntjac (endemic to this region), gaur, banteng, Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, clouded leopard, tiger and the saola (Vu Quang ox), a horned animal unknown to scientists before its discovery in 1992."
Until recently the Khua produced all their clothing by dyeing fibers made from crushed tree bark. Today there is a growing tendency to wear normal Western attire. Numerous generations of Khua have come and gone, but each has in common the Khua's belief in spirit worship and fear of demonic powers. The Khua do not have any affection for the spirits, but believe it is absolutely necessary for them to appease and placate them in order to avoid their wrath.
Although initial research has not located any professing Christians among the Khua in Laos, it is possible that many have been exposed to the Gospel because of the strong witness of Bru evangelists who live in the area.
Prayer Points * Pray the Khua would see they do not have to live in slavery to demons if they put their trust in Jesus Christ.
* Ask God to send Bru evangelists to specifically focus on the Khua.
* Pray heart-felt worship of the King of Kings would be heard among the Laos-Vietnam mountain ranges. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.