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Balaesan in Indonesia

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Balaesan in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
6,800 Balaesang Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Balaesan in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Balaesang are an indigenous people who live on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. They became Muslims after coming into contract with Arab and Indian traders hundreds of years ago. According to, no Scripture currently exists in their language, either as recordings or in written form. The Balaesang language is considered endangered as only about 4000 people currently speak it.

In the early 20th century, the Dutch colonialists sent evangelists into the Balaesang region, but the people seem to have resisted and remained loyal to Islam and their folk religion.

Where are they located?
The Balaesang live on a small western peninsula on Sulawesi. Most live in the coastal villages although some reside in the mountainous interior.

What are their lives like?
The Balaesang make their living by hunting, fishing and agriculture. Their main stable food is sago, the pulp of certain palm trees. They also grow peanuts, corn, and coconuts. Most Balaesang live in isolated villages where an elder or group of elders make the decisions and settle their legal disputes. Most men have only one wife.
Many of the Balaesang are illiterate. Their children generally quit school early to help their families make a living. Most Balaesang have learned to speak the national Indonesian language of Bahasa so they can communicate with outsiders.

What are their beliefs?
The Balaesang claim to be Muslims but their Islam is heavily influenced by animism. The supreme God Allah is seen as remote from their daily lives. The Balaesang believe they must appease the evil spirits who live around them. A village shaman offers chants, charms and rituals to protect the Balaesang from the power of the spirits. The Balaesang live constant fear of offending the evil spirits and their ancestors.

What are their needs?
All Balaesang need to hear the life-changing message of Isa or Jesus Christ. He alone can deliver them from their fear of evil spirits. The Balaesang would benefit by the introduction of solar panels that could help them run appliances and cell phones. Medical teams could vastly improve the health of the people.

Prayer Points
* Pray the Lord sends Holy Spirit anointed workers to the Balaesang to help with their physical and spiritual needs.
* Pray the small group of believers among the Balaesang grows and that evangelical churches are planted in each village.
* Pray that gospel recordings are made available in the Balaesang language and made easily available.
* 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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Prayer Links
Pray for Sulawesi
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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Sulawesi Tengah Province, Donggala regency, Balaesang subdistrict, Manimbayu peninsula, Ketong, Kamonji, and Rano villages.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Balaesan
People Name General: Balaesan
ROP3 Code: 100831
Joshua Project People ID: 10600
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 6,800
Population all Countries: 6,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Kaili-Tomini of Sulawesi
People Name General: Balaesan
Ethnic Code: MSY44p
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Balaesang (6,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bls    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Balaesan
Dialect Code:7597
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
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

Balaesan in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Kaili-Tomini of Sulawesi     Asia, Southeast    
      Balaesan Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Balaesan in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Balaesang  
    All Religions                              

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