People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Chaungtha in Myanmar (Burma)


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Chaungtha in Myanmar (Burma) map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
182,000 Rakhine Buddhism 0.10 % 0.07 % No   

Chaungtha in Myanmar (Burma)

People Group Video [7]
Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

More than 150,000 Chaungtha people inhabit central parts of Myanmar in Southeast Asia. The Ethnologue gives a 1983 estimate of 121,700 Chaungtha, while Myanmar Faces and Places extrapolated that figure to give a 2002 population of 153,961 Chaungtha people.

The most recent census held in Myanmar was in 1931, while the country was under British colonial rule. At the time the Chaungtha returned a total of 49,057 people, evenly divided between 24,549 males and 24,508 females.

The name Chaungtha means 'people of the valley' or 'people of the stream'. There is a coastal resort town in Myanmar that is also called Chaungtha, but the names are purely coincidental. The Chaungtha are historically and ethnolinguistically related to the Burmese. Because of this, in recent decades their identity has been eroded as an increasing number of Chaungtha choose to identify themselves as Burmese, hoping to benefit from being aligned with the majority ruling people in Myanmar. Because of this transition, it is difficult these days to identify and research the Chaungtha. Today, people in the southern part of the Mandalay Division still identify themselves as Chaungtha. The principal occupation of the Chaungtha is rice cultivation. 'Some plant rice on mountain terraces, which is the ideal; while others practice "shifting cultivation," moving from one plot to another. Some of the other important crops grown include maize, cotton, tobacco and opium poppies. The amount of tobacco supplied cannot meet the demands made by the many smokers in the region.'

The central areas of Myanmar are among the most staunchly Buddhist in the nation. Whereas, generally speaking, the mountainous perimeter of Myanmar is occupied by tribal groups who practice animism or Christianity, the heart of the nation where the Chaungtha live is overwhelmingly Buddhist.

One profile of the Chaungtha states, 'Buddhism was introduced into Myanmar in the fifth century; and today, most of the Chaungtha are Buddhist. However, they have also maintained their traditional ethnic belief in evil spirits, or nats. They believe that these spirits can do almost anything in nature, such as preventing floods and other natural disasters. Unfortunately, the Chaungtha have no Bible or even portion of the Bible in their language, and no missions agencies are working among them. A greater effort must be made to reach them with the Good News.'

The reason why the Bible has not yet been translated into Chaungtha is probably because they use the Burmese script—so researchers decided that a separate translation is not warranted. Mission agencies may also have decided that the Chaungtha spoken language is close enough to Burmese not to warrant separate audio and video productions for them. In the future, it is possible that the Chaungtha may cease to exist as a distinct ethnicity, as they are already well on the path to being assimilated by the Burmese.

There are believed to be just a few hundred Chaungtha Christians in Myanmar.

View Chaungtha in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-06-15
Prayer Links
Rakhine State
  Submit Update:
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:19 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 150,000 Chaungtha people inhabit central parts of Myanmar....There is a coastal resort town in Myanmar that is also called Chaungtha, but the names are completely coincidental.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Chaungtha
People Name General: Chaungtha
ROP3 Code: 102049
Joshua Project People ID: 11312
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 182,000
Population all Countries: 182,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Burmese
People Name General: Chaungtha
Ethnic Code: MSY50b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Rakhine (182,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): rki    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Chaungtha
Dialect Code:21243
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Theravada
Major Religions:
Buddhism97.00 % 
Christianity0.10 %(Evangelical: 0.07 %)
Ethnic Religions2.90 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant95.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic5.00 %
(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
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament: None Reported
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 / VideoFreedom from Suffering
Film / VideoFreedom from Suffering (EngSub)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Rakhine
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
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

Chaungtha in Myanmar (Burma)

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Burmese     Asia, Southeast    
      Chaungtha Myanmar (Burma)    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Chaungtha in Myanmar (Burma)          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Rakhine  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: