Introduction / History Long ago, the Cham had a strong empire, called Champa, located in southern Vietnam. Some of the Cham were Hindu, because of earlier contact with an Indian kingdom, and others were Muslims, because of their good relations with Arab Muslim traders that arrived on their shores. Although Champa was always at war, it flourished until the late 1400s when it was invaded by the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese slaughtered the Cham people. Only the very poor remained in Vietnam; Cham freemen and aristocrats fled to Cambodia.
Cambodia thrived until 1969, when civil war between the government and the communist Khmer Rouge threw the country into turmoil. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died while the Khmer Rouge ruled (1975-1979). Once again the Cham people had to flee those who wanted to slaughter them. In the late 1960s, some Cham people fled war in Southeast Asia to live in France and other countries.
Where are they located? Most likely the Western Cham people in France live in urban centers.
What are their lives like? It has been decades since some of the Muslim Western Cham people began living in France. To the best of their abilities, they have assimilated into French society and began new lives. They encounter other Muslim peoples in France's many mosques.
What are their beliefs? At the climax of the Champa Empire, two cultural influences predominated: the Hindu culture of India (adopted by the Eastern Cham) and the Islamic culture of the Malay. The Western Cham practice a distorted version of Islam. Those who live in France are Muslim, though some are secularized.
What are their needs? The Western Cham people in France are not encountering Christ-centered spirituality. Most remain Muslim, and others are secular like the French. Few if any encounter someone who lives their life for Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points * Ask the Lord to call long-term laborers who are willing to go to France and share Christ with the Western Cham and other Southeast Asian peoples there.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the few known Western Cham Christians.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will faithfully stand in the gap and intercede for the Western Cham people.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Western Cham people in France. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.