Karen, Pwo, Western in Myanmar (Burma)

Joshua Project has identified the Karen, Pwo, Western only in Myanmar (Burma)





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Western Pwo Karen live in Myanmar, in the Irrawaddy Delta region. Mostly they are rural rice farmers. There are many Buddhists as well as Christians. Generally, the Buddhists continue to practice traditional Karen religion, that is, making sacrifices to various spirits.

Burmese culture and language has a significant influence among Western Pwo Karen. Some Western Pwo Karen have even given up their language in favor of Burmese, while maintaining their Karen identity. Many Western Pwo Karen were affected by the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Through Pwo Karen survey work, we found that the Bible we 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 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. Therefore, we now know that the Eastern Pwo Karen have their "own" Bible.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Karen, Pwo, Western
People Name in Country Karen, Pwo, Western
Population in Myanmar (Burma) 253,000
World Population 253,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Karen
People Name General Karen, Pwo, Western
Ethnic Code MSY50g
People ID 19212
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 Ayeyawaddy (Irrawaddy) Delta.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Karen, Pwo Western (253,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Karen, Pwo Western 253,000
For Primary Language: Karen, Pwo Western

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1845-1867)
New Testament Yes   (1860)
Complete Bible Yes   (1883-1885)
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Karen, Pwo Western Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 32.00 %)
42.00 %
Ethnic Religions
57.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
8.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
1.0 %
75.0 %
Roman Catholic
16.0 %
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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