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Lamalera in Indonesia


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Lamalera in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,800 Lamalera Ethnic Religions 5.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Lamalera in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Lamalera people were once under the control of the Portuguese during the 1500s when they ruled much of what is now Indonesia. They survived the Japanese occupation of the early 1940s, and now they are under the control of the Indonesian government. This people group is very sensitive to outsiders trying to tell them what to do.

Where are they located?
The Lamalera people live on the Indonesian island of Timbata, between the islands of Timor and Flores. They have only two villages.

What are their lives like?
Their land is not conducive to farming, so they have to depend on the sea for their food source. Much to the dismay of international conservationists, they hunt sperm whales and dolphins for food. They also hunt other sea creatures. There are efforts to either force or bribe them into not hunting whales and dolphins, but at this time, they continue to do so. They want to be left alone, and they are contacting human rights organizations when pressured to stop their traditional practices.

After killing their prey, the Lamalera people divide up the meat, which they either eat or trade for rice, corn or vegetables with people from other villages. Some of them are professors, businessmen and other professionals, but most still live by the simple, cash-less ways of their ancestors.

What are their beliefs?
The Lamalera people believe that sperm whales are a gift from their ancestors and their god. Lamaleras believe that the sins of their ancestors can cause serious problems for them today. Even those who are Roman Catholic do not question this. They had a strong Roman Catholic mission effort among them at one time, dating back to the days when the Portuguese were powerful in this part of the world.

What are their needs?
The Lamalera people need to find a way to earn a living that will not cause problems for the world's ecosystem. It will take someone with great tact and diplomatic skills to help them move away from hunting sperm whales and dolphins, and towards something more constructive.

Prayer Points
Pray that the few who are Roman Catholic will put their faith entirely in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Pray that they will take this message to others in their communities, resulting in a disciple-making movement among the Lamalera people.
* 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.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.


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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:28 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Nusa Tenggara Timur Province; south coast, Lembata island. At least 3 villages.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Lamalera
People Name General: Lamalera
ROP3 Code: 115415
Joshua Project People ID: 18968
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,800
Population all Countries: 4,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Flores-Sumba-Alor
People Name General: Lamalera
Ethnic Code: AON09e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Lamalera (4,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lmr    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity5.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions70.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam25.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant100.00 %
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
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]
None Reported
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

Lamalera in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Flores-Sumba-Alor     Asia, Southeast    
      Lamalera Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Lamalera in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Lamalera  
    All Religions                              

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