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Cham, Western in Laos

Cham, Western

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Cham, Western in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
600 Cham, Western Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Cham, Western in Laos

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Introduction / History
About 600 Cham people live in the capital city of Laos, Vientiane. The Cham are one of the most well-known and interesting people groups in Southeast Asia, but few are aware of their existence within the country of Laos, although one tourist book does mention them... "A very small number of Muslims live in Vientiane, mostly Arab and Indian merchants whose ancestry dates back as far as the 17th century. Vientiane also harbors a small community of Chams, Cambodian Muslims who fled Pol Pot's Democratic Kampuchea in the 1970s. The latter now have their own mosque in Vientiane."

The majority of Cham (195,000) live in Cambodia. Approximately 100,000 more live in Vietnam, while others live in countries as diverse as Malaysia, Thailand, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and Libya. The Cham Diaspora reflects their history as a great sea-faring people.

The Cham are one of the ancient ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. When Marco Polo traveled through the area in 1285, he reported that Chamba was... "a very rich region, having a king of its own. The people are idolaters and pay a yearly tribute to the Great Kaan, which consists of elephants and nothing but elephants.... You must know that in that kingdom no woman is allowed to marry until the King shall have seen her; if the woman pleases him then he takes her to wife; if she does not, he gives her a dowry to get a husband withal.... At that time the King had, between sons and daughters, 326 children, of whom at least 150 were men fit to carry arms."

The Cham language is part of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. It is divided into two varieties, Western Cham and Eastern Cham, which enjoy only limited mutual intelligibility.

While all Western Cham (including those in Laos) are Muslims, the Eastern Cham follow a complicated religious mix including Brahmanism, a sect of Hinduism that venerates Siva.

The Western Cham are a completely unreached people group in Asia. There are handful of known believers among them in Canada and the United States, however.

Prayer Points
* The Cham in Laos are strong Muslims. Pray Christ would place a hunger in their hearts to know Him.
* Pray Christians in Vientiane would share the gospel with the Cham.
* Pray that obstacles to the flow of the gospel be removed.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

View Cham, Western in all countries.

Prayer Links
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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:20 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Vientiane Municipality
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
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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: Cham, Western
People Name General: Cham, Western
Alternate People Names:
CambodianCambodian Cham
Chăm (Chàm)Chiem
Chiem ThanhHoi
West ChamWestern Cham
ROP3 Code: 110776
Joshua Project People ID: 15361
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 600
Population all Countries: 303,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Cham
People Name General: Cham, Western
Ethnic Code: MSY44z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Cham, Western (600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cja    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(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
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: 1968-2015
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Cham, Western
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

Cham, Western in Laos

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Cham     Asia, Southeast    
      Cham, Western Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Cham, Western in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Cham, Western  
    All Religions                              

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