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Ta Oi, Upper in Laos

Ta Oi, Upper

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Ta Oi, Upper in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
48,000 Ta'oih, Upper Ethnic Religions 2.00 % 1.80 % No No   

Ta Oi, Upper in Laos

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Introduction / History
More than 31,000 Ta Oi people live in southern Laos. The majority are concentrated in Ta-Oy District in the eastern part of Saravan Province towards the Vietnam border. Others live in Savannakhet and Kekong provinces Since 1989 some Ta Oi have migrated down the mountains to the Bolaven Plateau.

Although more than 26,000 Ta Oi were recorded in the 1989 Vietnam census, most of the Ta Oi in Vietnam speak a dialect that is only partially mutually intelligible with the Ta Oi in Laos. One source says people from these two groups can not understand each other "until speakers have had at least two weeks contact."

After the end of the U.S.-Vietnam War, a small number of Ta Oi families were allowed into the United States as refugees. Today, Ta Oi live in the Stockton, Ca.; and Birmingham, NY, areas.

The Ta Oi, who practice a combination of animism and shamanism, are one of the most demon-oppressed groups in all of Laos. In 1890 one Frenchman recorded the experience of a Ta Oi animistic ritual (which has changed little over the past century): "In a clearing a certain number of them made a circle around a beer jar. To the bowl of the receptacle a lighted wax candle was fixed. Chickens with their throats cut were lying on the ground. An elder, with his head shaved close to the skull, made invocations to the spirits and in turn, the warriors passed in front of him, presenting their arms to him."

A complex ritual is performed after a Ta Oi person dies.... "A shaman is brought in to help the soul of the deceased find its way to the next life. Ta Oi women are sometimes buried in their traditional clothing, and with ornaments made of copper, silver, ivory or glass. Several years after the burial, the remains of the body are dug up, washed, decorated, and placed in a funeral house outside the fence of their former home."

Although there are now between 350 to 500 Ta Oi Christians (mostly Catholics) in Laos, most Ta Oi oppose the Gospel. In Vietnam the Ta Oi are a completely unreached people group. A few years ago they attacked Bru evangelists who tried to bring the Gospel to them, and drove them out of the area.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Ta Oi to receive the Gospel.
* Pray that God would raise up Christians to focus on reaching all three ethnic groups among the Ta Oi minority.
* Pray many strong churches would soon emerge in their midst.
* Ask the Lord to heal the wounds of fear, suspicion of outsiders, and hatred that have kept the Ta Oi from knowing God.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation 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: 2017-06-26
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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:Saravan, Savannakhet, and Xekong provinces, Ta-Oy district.
(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: Ta Oi, Upper
People Name General: Ta Oi, Upper
Alternate People Names:
Bo River Van KieuKantua
Ta UatTa-ôi
TaoeyTaoih, Upper
TaoyUpper Ta'oih
Upper Ta-Oy
ROP3 Code: 109837
Joshua Project People ID: 15260
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 48,000
Population all Countries: 70,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Ta Oi, Upper
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Ta'oih, Upper (48,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tth    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity2.00 %(Evangelical: 1.80 %)
Ethnic Religions98.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent5.00 %
Protestant75.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2010
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
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

Ta Oi, Upper in Laos

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
      Ta Oi, Upper Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Ta Oi, Upper in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Ta'oih, Upper  
    All Religions                              

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