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Samtao in Laos


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,400 Samtao Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Samtao in Laos

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Introduction / History
The Samtao are thought to be from the Wa tribe. The Samtao converted to Theravada Buddhism from animism. After generations of separation from the Wa animist, the Samtao came with their own language and culture. The Samtao language is related to other Mon-Khmer languages (De'ang, Wa, and Bulang). Over 2,000 Samtao live in Laos.

Where are they located?
The Samtao live in China, Laos, and Myanmar. The Samtao of Laos live in the northeast part of the country.

What are their lives like?
The 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 practice Buddhism mixed with animism. They revere the spirits of the forest, village, and house and they observe animal rituals. For instance when a Samtao man dies his family calls a chicken to call back the person's soul. The person is then redressed and positioned between two white sheets.

What are their needs?
There are no known Samtao Christians in Laos. There is a great need for the gospel to be lived and preached among these people.

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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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-06-17
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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:Bokeo Province, Houay Xai district.
(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: 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: No
Population in Country: 3,400
Population all Countries: 15,000
Least-Reached: Yes
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 (3,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): stu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism90.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions10.00 % 
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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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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 Laos

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

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