Burmese, Myen in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


A Greater Love

Source Create International

Introduction / History

The 1995 national census of Laos listed 416 Myen, or Burmese, living in Laos. They have come across the border from Myanmar (formerly Burma) in the last ten years or so as traders and merchants. A number have settled down in the Sing and Long districts of Luang Namtha Province. Others live in the cities of Vientiane, Xaignabouri, and in the Houayxay District of Bokeo Province.

Some 25 to 30 million Myen live in Myanmar. Others are found in Malaysia, Thailand, the United States, Singapore, and other nations around the world.

The name of Burma was changed to Myanmar in 1988 by the military government. They claim Burma was mistakenly named by the British. Ma means 'the land of' in Burmese, therefore Burma meant 'the land of the Burs'. The majority population of the nation, however, call themselves Myen, therefore the nation was renamed Myanmar ('the land of the Myan/Myen'). The Lao call the Myen Man.

The Myen are believed to have originated in China, and made their way into today's Myanmar in the ninth century AD. They quickly established themselves as the major power in the fertile Irrawaddy River Valley.

The Myen are one of the strongest Theravada Buddhist peoples in the world. They have the conviction that they preserve the true faith. In Theravada Buddhist societies monks embody Buddhist principles, the dhamma. Their withdrawal from the mundane world into the vat where they dress differently, follow a different daily regime from the rest of society, are subject to elaborate codes of conduct, including codes of avoidance, especially of women who tempt them back into the mundane world. All of these rules demarcate the sacred space within which they move.

The Myen are one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. In Myanmar they are surrounded by many Christian tribes, yet most Myen have refused to consider the truths of the Gospel, especially from tribal people who they consider much inferior to themselves. "To be Myen is to be Buddhist" is their belief.

Prayer Points

* Pray God would have mercy on the Myen people. Pray He would humble their hearts to consider the Gospel.
* Ask God to save the small number of Myen who are living in Laos.
* Pray for heavenly strategies to win the 25-30 million Buddhist Myen people of Myanmar.

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

People Name General Burmese
People Name in Country Burmese, Myen
Population in Laos 600
World Population 31,429,000
Countries 18
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bama, Bamar, Bamas, Burman, Man, Myan, Myan, Myen, Myanmas, Myen, Yaw
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Burmese
People Name General Burmese
Ethnic Code MSY50b
People ID 11029
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 Luang Namtha, Xiagnabouri, Bokeo provinces, Vientiane City..   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Burmese (600)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Burmese 600
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1815-1985)
New Testament Yes   (1832-1987)
Complete Bible Yes   (1835-2006)
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video General Ministry Resources
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Burmese
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Common Language Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Judson Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter Fathers Love Letter
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets

Major Religion Percent
90.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.