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Bit in Laos


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Bit in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,400 Bit Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Bit in Laos

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Introduction / History
Approximately 1,600 people belonging to the Bit ethnic group inhabit eight villages in the northern tip of Laos. The majority are located in the Boun-Tai District of Phongsali Province. Others live in the Samphan and Khoa districts. A small number of Bit people have migrated to Luang Namtha Province.

Five hundred Bit people also live in China. They are located directly across the border in Mengla County of Yunnan Province. In China the Bit have not been placed under any minority group, but were counted in the 1990 census in a list of "Undetermined Minorities" by the Chinese authorities.

Most Bit villages consist of between 30 to 50 houses. They are invariably located in forested valleys at altitudes between 400-1000m (1,310-3,280 feet) above sea level. The area inhabited by the Bit in Laos is bordered by the Lu, Kim Mun and Akha.

The Bit speak a language belonging to the Northern branch of Mon-Khmer. Bit is reportedly closely related to the Khao language of Vietnam. Multi-lingualism is now prevalent among the Bit. Many can speak some or all of the Lao, Lu, Khmu and Hmong languages.

Even though they have a distinct ethnicity, the Bit were counted under the Khmu in the 1985 census. The 1995 census listed them separately however.

There are a number of clans among the Bit, named after different types of sacred birds. Over the past few decades, the Bit have started on a speedy decline towards assimilation. Today many Bit are culturally and linguistically tied to the Lu or the Lao.

Old Bit women still retain their traditional dress. They like to wear silver bracelets and pendants made of shells.

What are their beliefs?
Animism and ancestor worship are the strongest religions among the Bit. They observe many animistic ceremonies, including worship of the spirits of the village, house, harvest, illness and epidemics. Many spiritual traditions are dying out. In some Bit villages that are situated closer to urban populations, animistic practices have been extinct for several generations. There are no Christians among the Bit in either northern Laos or southern China.

Prayer Points
* The Bit are being assimilated by several ethnic groups. Pray they will find their identity in Jesus Christ.
* Pray for Khmu evangelists to focus on the Bit soon.
* Ask God to bring forward a triumphant Bit church in both Laos and China, for the glory of His Name.
* 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
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-06-18
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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:20 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Phongslai and Luang Namtha provinces, Boun-Tai, Khoa, Samphan, and Luang Namtha districts
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
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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: Bit
People Name General: Bit
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 101500
Joshua Project People ID: 10882
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 2,400
Population all Countries: 3,300
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Bit
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bit (2,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bgk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism40.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions60.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
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

Bit in Laos

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

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