Introduction / History The Tai Lue are part of the official Dai nationality in China. Although the name "Tai" is said with a "t" sound, the Chinese pronounce it as "Dai." One early missionary described them in unflattering terms: "The Lu impressed me as less civilized as any Tai people I had ever met. They are less polite and deferential, more talkative, even rude in their manners. But they are less timid, more sturdy, more hospitable, more receptive."
The Tai Lue possess an ancient script, still used by Buddhists in the region. This profile refers to the Shui (Water) Dai in China who speak a different language from the Han Tai and Huayao Tai.
By the ninth century AD, the Tai Lue had a well-developed agricultural system. They used oxen and elephants to till the land and constructed extensive irrigation systems.
What are their lives like? Each year the Tai Lue celebrate the Songkran Festival, when people splash water over each other, symbolizing the cleansing of sin from the previous year and a fresh start for the new year.
What are their beliefs? The Tai Lue are Theravada Buddhists. They believe that if they live good lives, they will be reborn into a higher social position, but if they are wicked, they will come back as degraded animals. At certain times the Tai Lue pay homage to the spirits of those who have contributed greatly to the well-being of their descendants. "Sacrifices are offered to the spirits [and] the village is shut in on itself; all roads and tracks giving access to the community are blocked with barricades of trees and branches the whole village is encircled with ropes made of straw or a line of white cotton thread, to represent symbolically an encircling wall preventing entry or exit. No outsiders of any description, not even monks or members of the elite ruling class, are permitted to attend these rites."
What are their needs? They have proven to be very resistant to the gospel. The Tai Lue New Testament was first translated in 1933 and reprinted in 1992 and 1996 for Tai Lue believers in China and Myanmar.
Prayer Points Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.
Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.