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Yoy in Thailand


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Yoy in Thailand map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
8,200 Yoy Buddhism 0.90 % 0.50 % No No   

Yoy in Thailand

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Introduction / History
About 1,000 Yoy, or Tai Yo people live in Khammouan Province in central Laos. They live at the juncture of three districts: Nakay, Grommarol and Bouarapha.

According to the Ethnologue, there are 5,000 speakers of the Yoy language living in Thailand. Yoy is a member of the Northern Tai language family. All Yoy are adequately bilingual in the national language, Lao. Indeed, to most outsiders there is no visible or cultural differences between the Lao and Yoy. The distinctiveness of the Yoy is confined to their language.

The Yoy are professing Buddhists, although a close inspection of their religious practices reveals a regular dependence on spirit-appeasement and animism.

In many respects, Buddhism has lost some of its authority over the inhabitants of Laos in recent decades. Before the advent of Communism in 1975 it was already showing signs of decay. Nhouy Abhay, a leading figure in the Royal Lao Government, said in 1959, "How much ignorance among the monks! The Pali tongue which is less and less understood has become a screen behind which they hide their ignorance.. This lack of reasoning goes with a daily slackening in the performance of religious rites. Monks relax their discipline, and it can be noticed in temples as well as in the streets, in cemeteries and in homes. In its essence, Buddhism is deeply tolerant; but ours in fact has lost too much of its authority.. In the field of manners, as in religion, our monks are far from being the elite they are supposed to be."

One early missionary summarized the conflict between groups in Laos that are outwardly Buddhist, yet in reality know very little about the faith they so boldly profess: "Ask any person you meet a few questions about the sage who propounded the faith they are supposed to hold, and it will be speedily discovered they...know little of the life and less of the teaching of him whom they apparently worship. The great moral precepts of this religion are not taught to them, are unknown to them."

The Yoy live in a part of Laos with few known churches. They have lived for centuries with little knowledge of Christianity.

Prayer Points
Pray that the Yoy will glorify God and follow His ways.
Ask God to send Christians to witness His life among the Yoy.
Pray the Holy Spirit would prepare the hearts of the Yoy to humbly accept Jesus Christ.
* 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.

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Country: Thailand
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:The Yoy live on both sides of the Mekong River. The majority inhabit villages in the north-east Thailand province of Sakhon Nakhon. They are dispersed over three districts, Akat Amnuai, Phang Khon, and Sawang Daen Din. An additional group of Yoy make their homes in the central Laos province of Khammouan.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
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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: Yoy
People Name General: Yoy
Alternate People Names:
GiyLao Yuai
Tai JoTai Yoi
Tai YoyYoe
ROP3 Code: 111101
Joshua Project People ID: 16062
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 8,200
Population all Countries: 20,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tai
People Name General: Yoy
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yoy (8,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yoy    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism79.10 % 
Christianity0.90 %(Evangelical: 0.50 %)
Ethnic Religions20.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Yoy in Thailand

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tai     Asia, Southeast    
      Yoy Thailand    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yoy in Thailand          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Yoy  
    All Religions                              

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