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Mnong, Central in Cambodia

Mnong, Central

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Mnong, Central in Cambodia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
46,000 Mnong, Central Ethnic Religions 8.10 % 5.20 %   

Mnong, Central in Cambodia

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Introduction / History
Located in the remote mountainous northeast region of Cambodia, bordering Vietnam, Mondulkiri is the country's largest province and is home to the second largest ethnic minority population, the Bunong (or Phnong). Renowned as elephant tamers, they comprise about 30,000 of the province's estimated 43,000 residents. The Bunong language is the main language spoken in their homes and villages.

What are their lives like?
The Bunong culture and way of life is intimately associated with the forest area in which they live. Access to land and the forests is essential to their survival. The Bunong practice labor-intensive swidden ('slash and burn') agriculture, following a 15-20 year cycle, using one site for up to five years before moving to a new location.

What are their beliefs?
The Bunong practice animism; the stability of their lives depends on the satisfactory appeasement of various types of spirits. Animal sacrifice plays a vital role in the appeasement process. Weddings, funerals, periods of illness and seasonal celebrations are some of the more significant events requiring sacrifices. In the mid 50s, having heard of minorities in Vietnam turning to Jesus, the Bunong in Cambodia asked the only operating mission agency to send missionaries. This request could not be fulfilled then, nor a second one in the mid-60s. Ten years later, the province was part of the "Ho Chi Minh trail" and the target of US bombing. Many Bunong fled to Vietnam, where they finally heard the Gospel. In 1986, about 150 Bunong believers came back to Cambodia. Today, they are 1000 strong. The first Western missionaries came in 2000.

What are their needs?
Food and land protection: The Bunong experience a period of 3-5 months where the food grown in their fields runs out, so they must forage in the forest, hunt, fish or gather resin to sell. Major tracts of land have been logged, sold or otherwise removed from the traditional ownership of the Bunong community, leading to a decrease in access to life-sustaining resources.

Literacy and education: The majority of Bunong do not have sufficient math skills to fairly buy or sell produce at the market, and few can properly count money or use a scale. They are frequently cheated by local traders. Their ability to interact with the broader society is limited, preventing adoption of innovations and ideas from the outside. Also, as outside influences encroach with alarming speed and impact, the Bunong are ill-equipped to confront the onslaught of changes. Lack of Khmer language skills also render them at even greater risk for exploitation. Health care and education: Many serious diseases have a much higher rate of prevalence in Mondulkiri than in other provinces. Also, the Bunong do not possess basic information which could allow them to treat or prevent simple diseases. Salvation and Scriptures: Only Christ can deliver the Bunong out of their poverty - physically and spiritually. They need God's Spirit to fully transform their lives. The church struggles due to lack of Scriptures in the Bunong language, and also desperately needs strong teaching.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-06-09
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Country: Cambodia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Kratié province: northeast and central; Mondolkiri province.
(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: Mnong, Central
People Name General: Mnong, Central
Alternate People Names:
Central MnongGer
ROP3 Code: 101925
Joshua Project People ID: 11129
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 46,000
Population all Countries: 84,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Mnong, Central
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Mnong, Central
Language Code (ISO): cmo    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Khmer (Unknown)Mnong, Eastern (Unknown)
Mnong, Southern (Unknown)
Total Languages: 4
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism3.90 % 
Christianity8.10 %(Evangelical: 5.20 %)
Ethnic Religions88.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent18.00 %
Protestant65.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic17.00 %
(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: 2009-2011
New Testament:
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 RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Mnong, Central
Text / Printed MatterBible: Central Mnong
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Mnong, Central in Cambodia

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

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