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Sou in Laos


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,300 Sou Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Sou in Laos

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Introduction / History
More than 2,000 people belonging to the Sou ethnic group live primarily in the Phouvong District of Attapu Province in southern Laos. A small number of Sou live in the eastern part of Sanamxai District.

The Sou, who are also known as the Sok, Souk or Sawk, live directly along the Laos-Cambodia border, in a remote and sparsely-populated mountainous area.

The Sou language is part of the West Katuic branch of the Mon-Khmer family. It is most closely related to Oy, Jeng, Sapuan and So.

In this isolated corner of Laos, spirits and ghosts rule over the lives of the people. The Sou are animists. Each village has its own resident shaman, or spirit-priest, whose job is to mediate between the community and the spirit realm.

In some places in Laos, female mediums have played an important role in rural communities. Mayoury Ngaosyvathn, a Lao author, has argued that "by controlling rites and practices linked to the past, women provide the Lao with a sense of calculated assurance about the continuity of interpersonal and communal relations in the future. She also argues that when possessed by their spirits these women embody a sense of control over one's fate compared with the more fatalistic stance of Buddhism...and of course, it is this activism, this unpredictability, that earned them the hostility of the state in the early days of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Mediums also represent historical continuity because of the fact that they are possessed by princes and lords from past kingdoms whose power is drawn on to overcome trials and tribulations of the present." Although missionaries helped produce a Gospel recording in the Sou language prior to 1975, it has been heard in very few Sou homes.

Most Sou have no knowledge whatsoever of the Gospel. The revival in recent years among several tribal groups in northern Cambodia may represent the best opportunity for evangelism among the Sou in Laos. Very few Sou people speak or read Lao. To reach them, Gospel material in their mother tongue will need to be prepared.

Prayer Points
* Pray the recent people movements to Christ in Cambodia would spill across the border into southern Laos.
* Ask God to call, prepare and thrust out workers to reach the Sou.
* Pray the Sou would not be prevented from hearing the Gospel because of their remoteness and uniqueness.
* 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.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-06-14
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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:Attapu province, Phouvong and Sanamxai 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: Sou
People Name General: Sou
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 109433
Joshua Project People ID: 15006
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 3,300
Population all Countries: 3,300
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Sou
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sou (3,300 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): sqq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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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
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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
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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

Sou in Laos

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

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