Arem in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Approximately 500 Arem people live in the Bouarapha District of Khammouan Province in eastern Laos. They live in an extremely remote area directly along the Laos-Vietnam border. One source places their location at "both sides of the Vietnam-Laos border, west of Phuc Trac."

In Vietnam, the Arem are part of the official Chut minority group. The Chut, who are a collection of between four and seven different tribes, are known as the most underdeveloped and primitive people in the country. In addition to the Arem, the other Chut tribes in Laos are May, Ruc and Sach.

The Arem have their own distinct language, which is part of the Viet-Muong branch of the Mon-Khmer language family. The use of Arem is dwindling, however, and today there are only about 20 elderly people left who are able to speak it fluently. The Arem language has been replaced by a more general Chut language, which serves as the lingua franca (common speech) among the different Chut groups.

The name Chut is a generic term which simply means 'mountain' or 'rocky-cliff'. Each group lives in a separate area defined by agreed-upon markers such as trees, rivers and streams. The members of one tribe are careful not to encroach onto the territory of their neighbors for fear of provoking war.

The name Arem means 'cave dwellers'. Only recently did the Arem in Vietnam start to live in houses. In the past they preferred to move around deep within the forests, dwelling in caves, trees, or temporary shacks. The Ruc and Arem were the last groups to start building houses in the 1960's.

According to a Vietnamese government report on the Chut, however, they may be heading back to their former lifestyles: "Their population numbers are falling alarmingly, and their agriculture is on the point of disappearing. Certain members of their group are returning to live in caves. Their misery is at such a point that often a young man has nothing but a blunt knife to offer his in-law's family at his wedding."

The Arem and the other Chut tribes, have absolutely no awareness of the Gospel in either Laos or Vietnam. They remain completely unreached.

Prayer Points

* Pray the primitive Arem would soon have access to the Gospel, and would be open to knowing Jesus Christ.
* Ask God to send workers to the Arem.
* Pray the Arem would be reached in a powerful manner so that people would know only God could do such a work.

Profile Source:   Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Arem
People Name in Country Arem
Population in Laos 800
World Population 900
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chứt
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Arem
Ethnic Code AUG03z
People ID 10419
Country Laos
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Khammouan province, Bouarapha district.   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arem (800)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Arem 800

For Main Lanugage: Arem

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Format Resource
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Asia Harvest   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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