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Brao in Cambodia


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Brao in Cambodia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,000 Lave Ethnic Religions 0.50 % 0.25 % No No   

Brao in Cambodia

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Introduction / History
The Brao of northeast Cambodia have dark skin and black hair, resembling the majority Khmer and Lao lowlanders of the region, although Brao are generally shorter in stature. They are one of several hilltribes inhabiting isolated villages in Ratanakiri province of northeastern Cambodia and in Attapeu province of southeastern Laos.

The Brao language is a member of the Mon-Khmer language family. Krung, Kravet, Lun and Laveh are also names for the overall Brao ethnic group. These represent mutually intelligible dialects within the group. Older Brao often wear traditional dress. Their earlobes are stretched from wearing large elephant tusk earrings in the past. Their faces sometimes bear tattoos, also a fashion from the past. Younger people generally wear western clothing purchased in the market.

What are their lives like?
The Brao differ from the lowland paddy rice farmers of the region. They traditionally depend heavily on the forest for their livelihood and usually grow upland dry rice using swidden agriculture methods. Cash crops like cashew and coffee provide limited income. Rolling forested hills of red volcanic earth cover much of the Brao homeland and several major rivers traverse flat floodplains. Hunting, fishing and raising animals provide protein in their diet. Unfortunately, recent logging has deforested vast tracts of their land. Women are often seen walking the red dirt roads with baskets on their backs carrying produce and goods.

What are their beliefs?
For centuries they have maintained animistic beliefs rather than embracing the Buddhist religion of the lowland people. The Brao live in continual fear of evil spirits. Village elders are responsible for leading village sacrifices made to spirits in the forest, streams, rocks and fields. This maintains order in the community so that the spirits are not disturbed. Village diviners determine the cause of sickness through ritual and prescribe an animal to be sacrificed to the respective spirit.

Sickness and crop failure are generally blamed on spirits. Arak and Bras are the local names for spirits requiring appeasement. Villagers raise chickens, pigs, cows and water buffalo primarily for sacrifice. Village sacrifices, weddings and funerals involve the entire village drinking large quantities of rice wine over several days.

What are their needs?
The Brao were untouched by the gospel until 1992. Today there are around 200 believers in Cambodia in small isolated groups. However, because of government restrictions, the Brao living in Laos have not yet heard the gospel. A part-time Bible school has begun, and church leader training remains a long term need.

The Brao are very poor, with little access to schooling, literacy programs and electricity. Additionally, illegal logging and land concessions encroach on traditional Brao land. Access to justice through the court system is difficult to obtain.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-06-13
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Country: Cambodia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Ratanakiri province: Ta Veaeng district, north of Sesan river.
(Source: Ethnologue 2018)
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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: Brao
People Name General: Brao
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 101655
Joshua Project People ID: 10960
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 11,000
Population all Countries: 37,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Brao
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Lave (11,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): brb    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.25 %)
Ethnic Religions99.50 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian100.00 %
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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1993-2011
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)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Brao in Cambodia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
      Brao Cambodia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Brao in Cambodia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Lave  
    All Religions                              

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