People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Sapuan in Laos


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Sapuan in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,400 Sapuan Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Sapuan in Laos

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Sapuan ethnic group live in the northern part of the Xaisetta District of Attapu Province in southern Laos.

The population of the Sapuan is difficult to gauge. While Wurm and Hattori (1981) gave their population as 2,400, Laurent Chazee (1995) stated there was only one village of Sapuan people in Attapu. In Laos, villages are usually very small, and rarely contain more than several hundred people as a maximum.

The Sapuan may also be located in northern Cambodia. A group named Tampuan lives there. It is not known if the Sapuan and Tampuan are related, or if their similar names are coincidental. The Tampuan in Cambodia now include a number of Christians.

Attapu Province has a reputation for being the most remote and cut-off part of Laos. During the rainy season, most of Attapu cannot be reached by road. Attapu has been described as "rugged, wild, scenic and difficult to get around.... Tigers aren't uncommon, and there's rumored to be either Javan or Sumatran rhino near the Cambodian border. A recently-discovered trout-like fish grows to 10 kg (22 pounds) in the Xe Kong, and the Irrawaddy dolphin makes an occasional appearance in this river and the adjoining Xe Kaman.

The Sapuan language is part of the Western Bahnaric branch of Mon-Khmer. It is most closely related to the Oy and Jeng languages.

The Sapuan are animists. Even though spirit worship has been officially banned in Laos, it is openly adhered to. Thirty-two guardian spirits known as khwan are bound to a guest of honor by white strings tied around the wrists. Each of the 32 khwan are thought to be guardians over different organs, mental and physical, in the person's body. Animists believe khwan can occasionally wander away from the owner's body, causing the person to fall sick. A ceremony is performed to call them back, upon which the person regains their health or their sanity.

Although there are no known Christian believers among the Sapuan in Laos, a Gospel recording has been produced in the Sapuan language. In many places in this part of the country, the Gospel has yet to make an appearance.

Prayer Points
* Pray the new believers among tribal groups in Cambodia will cross the border and evangelize southern Laos.
* Ask God to being godly Christians across the path of the Sapuan.
* Pray the Sapuan would have a burden to find the True God, and would not feel peace until they find Him.
* 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.

View Sapuan in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-06-19
  Submit Update:
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:Attapu province, Xaisetta district
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Sapuan
People Name General: Sapuan
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108706
Joshua Project People ID: 14758
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,400
Population all Countries: 5,400
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Sapuan
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Sapuan (5,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): spu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions100.00 % 
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 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
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

Sapuan in Laos

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

Direct link: