Kachin in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


The Kachin

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

The Singhpo (Kachin) are one of the most intriguing tribes in South Asia today. The name 'Singhpo' is a variation of 'Jingpo'. The Jingpo are a large ethnic group living in northern Myanmar and areas of western Yunnan Province in south-west China. The Jingpo in these two countries are predominantly Christians or animists, with very little Buddhist influence. Among the Singhpo of India, however, Buddhism is a stronghold and almost all people follow it. The Singhpo migrated into India about a century before the gospel was first introduced to their cousins in Myanmar and China, and they consequently have missed out on believing in Christianity to this present time.

The Singhpo (Kachin) tribe primarily live in Myanmar and China as well as in the Changlang and Lohit districts of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. They 'inhabit the plain regions of these districts, and the area is drained by the Tengapani and Nao-Dihing rivers. Their habitat is surrounded by dense forests of the tropical moist deciduous type.' In addition a small, unspecified number of Singhpo people live across the border in the Margherita Subdivision of Tinsuria District in Assam State, as well as in the Lakhimpur and Sibsagar districts.

The Singhpo (Kachin) of India have experienced strong population growth. The 1961 Indian census listed 982 Singhpo people. The population increased to 1,567 in 1971; to 2,353 in 1981; and to 3,569 in 1991. This group has an extremely high birth rate. The average number of children born to a Singhpo woman is 5.6, although only 3.95 survive past infancy.


The forefathers of the Singhpo migrated from northern Myanmar in 1793, settling in the plains of Tirap District in Arunachal Pradesh. The reason for their migration is unclear, although one source says that 'They arrived at their present habitat when a reign of terror was let loose by the Ahom king, Gaurinath Singha.' Arriving in their present location, the Singhpo 'drove out the Khamtis from the lowlands under the Patkoi hills'.

In more-than two centuries since their arrival, the Singhpo have lost connection with their counterparts in other nations, and they have gradually developed distinct linguistic, cultural and religious traits. Due to their close interaction with the Khamti tribe, who speak a language from the Tai family, the Singhpo language has changed markedly from its original Tibeto-Burman form. One source states that now Singhpo only shares a 50 per cent lexical similarity with Jingpo in Myanmar. This figure makes more sense when we compare English and German, which share a 60 per cent lexical similarity.


The 1981 census of India records 98.51 per cent of Singhpo as followers of Theravada Buddhism, 0.72 per cent as Hindus and just three people as Christians. The 1991 census, however, returned 70 Christians. One source notes, 'The Singhpo religion is a peculiar blend of Buddhism and their traditional religion. Besides Lord Buddha, they worship some benevolent and malevolent spirits. Their traditional and Buddhist priests are known as disamba and chowsra, respectively.' There are a very few Singhpo Christians today. One survey of Arunachal Pradesh concluded, 'They are more open to the gospel now than ever before.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-29
People Name General Kachin, Jingpho
People Name in Country Kachin
Population in India 39,000
World Population 1,103,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chingpaw, Chingpo, Dashan, Dashanhua, Indian Kachin, Jinghpaw, Jingpaw, Jingpo, Ka Khyen, Keqin, Marip, Nhkum, Singfo, Sing-fo, Singhpo, Singpho, Singpo
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arunachal Pradesh (33,000) Assam (5,100)
Total States on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arunachal Pradesh (33,000) Assam (5,100)
Languages & Dialects on file:  3  (up to 20 largest shown)
Assamese (3,400) Adi (300) Jingpho
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Assamese 3,400 Adi 300
For Primary Language: Jingpho

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1895-1912)
New Testament Yes   (1912-2004)
Complete Bible Yes   (1927-2009)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: Jinghpaw Common Language Bible Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Text / Printed Matter
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Jingpho Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
97.59 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
2.41 %
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: Anonymous  
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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