Opao in Papua New Guinea

Joshua Project has identified the Opao only in Papua New Guinea





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Opao people live along river banks in Gulf Province, about a two hour ride in a motorized canoe from Kerema, the provincial capital. The area is swampy. Sago grows well in the area and is a major source of food for the Opao people. They also plant gardens and fish in the rivers. They grow betel nut which they sell in Kerema and Port Moresby.

The Opao people travel by walking or by canoe. There are many canoes made from hollowed out trees; most canoes are paddled by hand but some have outboard motors. Walking between villages can involve traversing stretches of muddy swamp. Some children regularly walk for two hours through a swamp to get to school.

Christianity first arrived in the Opao area in the 1930s when the United Church began work in the area. More denominations have begun work in the area since then and most people would claim to be Christians. However, traditional religion and magic are still strong in the area and many people do not attend church.

The Opao language is the people's heart language yet they do not have God's word in it.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Opao
People Name in Country Opao
Population in Papua New Guinea 3,500
World Population 3,500
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Pacific Islanders
People Cluster New Guinea
People Name General Opao
Ethnic Code AON09b
People ID 14205
Country Papua New Guinea
Region South Pacific
Continent Australia
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Gulf Province, near Orokolo and Keuru.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Opao (3,500)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Opao 3,500
For Primary Language: Opao

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 26.00 %)
95.00 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
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 %
90.0 %
Roman Catholic
10.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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