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Samtao in Myanmar (Burma)


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,000 Samtao Buddhism 7.00 % 5.40 % No No   

Samtao in Myanmar (Burma)

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Introduction / History
The Samtao are said to be original members of the Wa people. The Samtao converted from animism to Theravada Buddhism. After generations of separation from the Wa animist, the Samtao emerged with their own language and culture. The Samtao language is related to other Mon-Khmer languages (De'ang, Wa, and Bulang).The Samtao of Myanmar are from three tribes; the Samtao, Samtuan, and Sen Chun.

Where are they located?
The Samtao live in Laos, Myanmar, and China. Myanmar is the home to the largest concentration of Samtao. They are found mainly in the eastern Shan hills northeast of Kengtung.

What are their lives like?
Samtao families may be monogamous or polygamous. To become a polygamous family, the husband must first receive permission from the village leader. In some Samtao families infant marriage is arranged. The Samtao grow crops such as tea, maize, rice, cotton, and sugarcane. The Samatao men often tattoo their limbs and torsos with passages from the Buddhist scriptures.

What are their beliefs?
Samtao practice Theravada Buddhism. It was introduced to their culture 900 years ago. The Samtao are ardent followers of Buddhism. They also revere the spirits of the forest, village, and house, and observe animal rituals. For instance, when a Samtao man dies his family will kill a chicken to call back the person's soul. The person is then redressed and positioned between two white sheets.

Prayer Points
Pray that even now the Spirit would work in Samtao hearts.
Pray that God would raise up missionaries from neighboring tribes to go to the Samtao.
Pray that the Gospel would reach the Samtao and that it would be received.
Pray that a Samtao church would be birthed.
* 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: 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:East Shan State.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Samtao
People Name General: Samtao
Alternate People Names:
BlangBo Kho Pa
Kem DegneKiorr
Mu Di PaPhula
Sam TaoSamtau
ROP3 Code: 108587
Joshua Project People ID: 14680
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 11,000
Population all Countries: 15,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Samtao
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Samtao (11,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): stu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism90.00 % 
Christianity7.00 %(Evangelical: 5.40 %)
Ethnic Religions3.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent1.00 %
Protestant96.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic3.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
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

Samtao in Myanmar (Burma)

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
      Samtao Myanmar (Burma)    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Samtao in Myanmar (Burma)          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Samtao  
    All Religions                              

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