Karen, Pwo, Eastern in Myanmar (Burma)





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Eastern Pwo Karen live in eastern Myanmar, in Kayin Karen State, Mon State, and Taninthari Tenasserim Division. Most are rural farmers, growing rice and vegetables and sometimes raising livestock. Many have fled their homes and fields due to the military conflict around them; some have moved within Myanmar only, and about 50,000 others have migrated to Thailand.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most practice Buddhism mixed with traditional Karen religion animism. There are also many millennial cults started by Eastern Pwo Karen themselves. These cults' beliefs are usually based in either Buddhism or Christianity. Two of the largest of these groups are called Leke and Telakhon. There are many Christians as well, but they remain a minority.

Through Pwo Karen survey work, it was found that the Bible called the "Western" Pwo Karen Bible was actually translated for Eastern and Western, and likely was more suitable to Eastern than Western. This information comes both from Womack (2005) and Eastern Pwo Karen interviewees. The reason that this translation is today known as the "Western" Pwo Karen Bible is that the Western Pwo Karen converted in larger numbers and use this Bible more. However, the Eastern Pwo Karen Christians do use this Bible as well and consider it to be their own language.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Karen, Pwo, Eastern
People Name in Country Karen, Pwo, Eastern
Population in Myanmar (Burma) 1,178,000
World Population 1,233,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Pwo Karen, Pwo Omkoi Karen, Western Pwo Karen, White Karen
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Karen
People Name General Karen, Pwo, Eastern
Ethnic Code MSY50g
People ID 15395
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 25  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Kayin (Karen) state, Mon state, Taninthayi (Tensserim) Division.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Karen, Pwo Eastern (1,178,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Karen, Pwo Eastern 1,178,000
For Primary Language: Karen, Pwo Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2002)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Karen, Pwo Eastern Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 39.00 %)
70.00 %
Ethnic Religions
29.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
12.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
1.0 %
71.0 %
Roman Catholic
16.0 %
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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