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Phana in Laos


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Phana in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
500 Phana' Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Phana in Laos

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Introduction / History
A mere 350 members of the Pana ethnic group live in two distinct areas of northern Laos. Two villages (Bopiet and Namtoung) are located in the Luang Namtha District of Luang Namtha Province, near the Laos-China border. One additional village of Pana is located further south, in the Houayxay District of Bokeo Province.

There are possibly several thousand Pana living in southern Yunnan Province, China, where they are officially included under the Hani nationality. The Pana in Laos say they migrated from China eight generations ago, under the authority of a Chinese leader named Lateu Kouang. They arrived first in the Viangphouka District of Luang Namtha, before dispersing to their present locations.

Traditionally, the Pana lived in the mountains, but in the last 35 generations some have moved down to the plains and valleys. They have learned how to grow irrigated crops, and now intermingle with other ethnic groups. Today, it is difficult to tell the Pana apart from the Lu, Lao and Khmu. The Pana have not worn their traditional dress for many generations, but now wear Lu and Lao clothing.

Despite their small population, there are three clan divisions among the Pana in Laos: Sing Di, Sing Chao and Sing Pong.

The Pana build their houses similar to the Hmong. This may have contributed to them being erroneously placed in the "Miao-Yao" section of Laurent Chazee's 1995 book, as the Pana language is actually part of the Tibeto-Burman language family, and is related to Akha. Some Pana are bilingual in Lahu.

The Pana have never appeared in official government literature in either Laos or China. Small groups with little influence tend "not to exist" in nations where there is no benefit to be gained from acknowledging small ethnic groups like the Pana.

The Christian world has had some contact with the Pana however. Some time in the past, missionaries helped produce a Gospel recording cassette in the Pana language. Unfortunately, because few people have even heard of the existence of the Pana, it is not known if this tool has ever been used.

Prayer Points
* Pray the Holy Spirit would prepare the hearts of many Pana in Laos and China to receive salvation.
* Ask God to send Christians to witness among the Pana.
* Pray the Pana would soon worship God in their own culturally-relevant and God-glorifying churches.
* 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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Prayer Links
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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:19 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Luang Namtha and Bokeo provinces, Luang Namtha and Houayxay districts.
(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: Phana
People Name General: Phana
ROP3 Code: 114840
Joshua Project People ID: 18892
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 500
Population all Countries: 5,700
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Hani
People Name General: Phana
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Phana' (500 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): phq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions100.00 % 
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 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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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

Phana in Laos

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Hani     Asia, Southeast    
      Phana Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Phana in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Phana'  
    All Religions                              

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