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Penihing, Aoheng in Indonesia

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,800 Aoheng Ethnic Religions 3.00 % 0.50 % No No   

Penihing, Aoheng in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Aoheng Penihing are a small indigenous tribe. The ancestors of the Aoheng may have come from other parts of Southeast Asia hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago. The Aoheng language is endangered with less than 5000 native speakers. Some of the Aoheng men know enough of the Bahasa (Indonesian language) to communicate with outsiders.

Where are they located?
The Aoheng live in the north central Indonesian section of the island of Borneo near the Malaysian border. They live villages in the tropical rain forest near streams or rivers.

What are their lives like?
The Penihing live semi-nomadic lives. When the soil of a particular area becomes exhausted, they move to another area. The slash and burn method of agriculture is destructive to plants and animals of the region. Penihing men also hunt and fish to add to their food supply. Women farm small plot of vegetables and gather forest products for food and for sale. Sweet potatoes, coconuts, and palm sago are their staple foods.

Most Aoheng live in villages governed by an elder or group of elders. The shaman is their main source of medical and spiritual help.

What are their beliefs?
The vast majority of the Aoheng practice folk religion or animism. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, rocks, rivers, animals, and mountains. The Aoheng live in fear of offending the spirits and their ancestors. A village shaman intercedes between the Aoheng with the spirit world. The shaman and the Aoheng hope to appease the evil spirits through rituals, charms and offerings. A tiny group of the Aoheng are believers.

What are their needs?
According to, no Scripture currently exists in the endangered language of the Aoheng, either in recorded or written form. The Aoheng would benefit by medical teams coming to treat their physical problems. Solar panels could give the Aoheng access to electricity to run small appliances. Most of all, the Aoheng need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can free them from their fear of evil spirits and offer them an abundant life.

Prayer Points
Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Aoheng Penihing people for Jesus and that in God’s sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.

Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Aoheng Penihing families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.

Pray for the spiritual lives of the Aoheng Penihing people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.

Pray for the lives and culture of the Aoheng Penihing people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.
* 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.


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  Submit Update:
Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Kalimantan Timur Province, near Sarawak border, western end of province, upper reaches of Kapuas, Barito, and Mahakam rivers; small border areas, Kalimantan Tengah Province.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Penihing, Aoheng
People Name General: Penihing
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 107975
Joshua Project People ID: 14363
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,800
Population all Countries: 4,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Borneo-Kalimantan
People Name General: Penihing
Ethnic Code: MSY44e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Aoheng (4,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pni    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 0.50 %)
Ethnic Religions97.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent15.00 %
Protestant70.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic15.00 %
(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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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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

Penihing, Aoheng in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Borneo-Kalimantan     Asia, Southeast    
      Penihing Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Penihing, Aoheng in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Aoheng  
    All Religions                              

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