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Pa-O in Myanmar (Burma)

Pa-O

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Pa-O in Myanmar (Burma) map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
839,000 Pa'o Buddhism 1.70 % 0.30 % No   

Pa-O in Myanmar (Burma)

People Group Video [7]
Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
 
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Identity
Approximately 700,000 Pa-O people live in Southeast Asia. The large majority inhabits the south-western part of Shan State in Myanmar. The geographical centre of the Pa-O could be considered the mountains around the towns of Taunggyi and Kalaw. A smaller number of Pa-O live in Mon State, Karen State and as far south as the Tanintharyi (formerly Tenasserim) Division on the Gulf of Martahan in the southern tip of Myanmar.

An additional 900 Pa-O live inside Thailand, inhabiting four villages within the Muang District of Mae Hong Son Province. The Pa-O in Thailand fled Myanmar in 1975 because of the terrible social upheavals and human rights abuses committed by the military junta.

History
The Pa-O are called Taungthu by the Burmese, which means 'hill people'. The British colonialists called them Black Karen because most Pa-O women wear black or dark blue dresses. The Pa-O language shows them to be part of the great collection of Karen groups in Myanmar and Thailand, which together number as many as five million people in 20 language groups. Many Pa-O do not even know of this connection to the Karen, however, and consider themselves a unique people group.

The Pa-O believe that their ancestors 'fled north to Shan State from the Mon City of Thaton, in Lower Burma, after the overthrow of the Mon King Manuha in the eleventh century by King Anawrahta of Pagan'. This defeat took place in 1057. Today the Pa-O are the second most numerous ethnic group in Shan State after the Shan.

Religion
One key area in which the Pa-O differ from other Karen groups is in their religious beliefs. While most of the Karen are either animists or Christians, the Pa-O have been a strong Buddhist group for many centuries. Buddhism has influenced all Karen groups to some degree, but Buddhism dominates every area of the lives and communities of the Pa-O. In Myanmar, most Pa-O villages can be identified by the magnificent wooden temples that are constructed on the outskirts of their villages.

Although one estimate puts the number of Pa-O Christians at around 12,000 (1.7%), most Pa-O Buddhists have steadfastly rejected all efforts to evangelize them. One source states, 'The Pa-O people are Buddhists. They consider ordination as a novice even greater merit than ordination as a monk. During the first day of the novice ordination ceremony, called poi sang long, the sounds of drums, gongs and cymbals echo between the mountain ridges, when boys with shaved heads are taken from their homes to the temple. However, they still retain animist beliefs to some extent, but much less than the Pwo and Sgaw Karen. They worship spirits, such as the house and tree spirits and spirit shrines are located outside villages or near pagodas, where offerings can be made.'

Christianity
Missionaries first translated Scripture portions into Pa-O in 1912, and the Jesus film is now available in their language.

View Pa-O in all countries.

Prayer Links  
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Shan State
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Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:18 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:3
Location in Country:The large majority inhabits the south-western part of Shan State in Myanmar. The geographical centre of the Pa-O (Black Karen) could be considered the mountains around the towns of Taunggyi and Kalaw. An additional 900 Pa-O live inside Thailand, inhabiting four villages within the Muang District of Mae Hong Son Province.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Pa-O
People Name General: Pa-O
Alternate People Names:
Black KarenKaren
Pa'o KarenPao Karen
Tau-sooTau-sooo
Taungthu
ROP3 Code: 101515
Joshua Project People ID: 10892
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 839,000
Population all Countries: 840,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Karen
People Name General: Pa-O
Ethnic Code: MSY50g
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Pa'o (839,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): blk    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Southern
Dialect Code:334
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Theravada
Major Religions:
Buddhism77.30 % 
Christianity1.70 %(Evangelical: 0.30 %)
Ethnic Religions20.60 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.40 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant75.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic15.00 %
 
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1912-1964
New Testament:
2009
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)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Pa'o
 
 
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
 
 

Pa-O in Myanmar (Burma)

Peoples
               
Geographic
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  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Karen     Asia, Southeast    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Pa-O Myanmar (Burma)    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Pa-O in Myanmar (Burma)          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Pa'o  
    Global    
Language
 
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Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?rog3=BM&peo3=10892