Cali in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Cali only in Laos





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Laos was a kingdom until 1893 when they were invaded by a Chinese group. The French came in and helped Laos and Laos became part of French Indochina. Laos declared their independence in 1945 but French rule continued until 1954. Laos assisted Northern Vietnam in the Vietnam War. War continued in Laos until 1975 when it became the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Today Laos is considered to be a communist single-party socialist republic.

The Cali people are found on the border of Laos and Vietnam. The Cali are a part of the larger
Mon-Khmer (a branch of Austro-Asiatic) people in Loas. The Mon-Khmer comprise of about 24% of Laos' population. The Cali language is a dialect of So. The So language is spoken by a group on the border of Laos and Thailand. The Cali people are located on the border of Laos and Vietnam. The Cali see themselves as a distinct people group from the So speakers.

Where Are they Located?

The Cali are located on the border of Laos and Vietnam. They are located mainly in the northern part of Savannakhet Province and in the southern part of the Khammouan Province. Some Cali have migrated into Vietnam but number of immigrants is unknown at the time.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Cali people enjoy folk music. Cali folk music revolves around heros, the orgin of life, and romance. Men and women alternate lines in the romance ballads. Art and literature is also important among the Cali.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Cali people are animist. They worship the sun, moon, and stars. They also worship their ancestors. There are a few Cali believers. They were reached through a neighboring tribe in Vietnam. Those who have believed face persecution from authorities. The New Testament and other recordings have been translated into the Bru language of Vietnam; however, it is uncertain whether or not most Cali can read the Bru translation.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Cali would come to know and follow the One True God
* Pray that Cali believers would be discipled and equipped to reach their people.
* Pray that Cali believers would remain strong in persecution.
* Pray that the Bible and Bible recordings would be translated into the Cali language.


Profile Source:   Rachel Routt  

People Name General Cali
People Name in Country Cali
Population in Laos 19,000
World Population 19,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Cali
Ethnic Code AUG03
People ID 19666
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 Khammouan, Thakhek, Savannakhet provinces, both sides of Mekong River.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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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)
So (19,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
So 19,000

For Main Lanugage: So

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1980-2004)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
99.00 %
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 %
70.0 %
Roman Catholic
30.0 %
Profile Source: Rachel Routt  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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