Burmese in Canada

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Burmese, also called the Bama, are the dominant people group in Myanmar, formerly called Burma. Because of government abuses, many people have had to leave Myanmar for other countries like Canada. People commonly mistake all people from Myanmar as being Burmese, when in fact, a large percentage of those leaving that country for the West are part of ethnic minorities, many of which have a Christian background. For our purposes, we will try to focus on the Burmese Buddhist population in Canada.

Where Are they Located?

Most Burmese live in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and other major cities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Commonly Burmese came to Canada from rural places where there was no running water or electricity. There is a big adjustment to living in modern cities, and finding jobs.

The Burmese in Canada are actively trying to get the Canadian government to do something about the human rights abuses in Myanmar.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Burmese are predominantly Buddhists. The traditional goal in Buddhism is to seek the middle path to nirvana, or ultimate peace.
The Burmese have mixed these Buddhist beliefs with their own animistic beliefs (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Their animistic beliefs center around inherently evil spirits called nats. The Burmese spend their lives trying to appease the nats so that they will be protected from any other evil spirits that may seek to harm them. Burmese homes often have altars for the spirits, as well as a statue of Buddha.

The Burmese, like other Buddhists, believe that death is not a threat to one who has done good deeds. Instead, death is simply a "passing" from one life to another. They believe that "rebirth" is determined by the accumulated good or bad deeds done in the previous live. Therefore, those who have earned less merit are reborn as demons, ghosts, animals, or inhabitants of hell.

What Are Their Needs?

People need to teach the Burmese language and job skills that will help them adjust to life in Canada.

Prayer Points

Pray that Christians will teach Burmese refugees the language and job skills they need.
Pray for the Burmese Buddhists to be reached with the gospel of Christ. This can be done by ethnic minorities from Myanmar or by Canadian nationals.
Pray for a church planting movement among the Burmese Buddhists in Canada that will affect those in Myanmar.

Scripture Prayers for the Burmese in Canada.



Profile Source:   Global Prayer Digest 

People Name General Burmese
People Name in Country Burmese
Pronunciation burr-MEEZE
Population this Country 4,300
Population all Countries 31,706,000
Total Countries 18
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bama; Bamar; Bamas; Burman; Man; Myan; Myan, Myen; Myanmas; Myen; Yaw; बर्मीज़
People ID 11029
ROP3 Code 101776
Country Canada
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Canada
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Language Burmese (4,300 speakers)
Language Code mya   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Burmese (4,300 speakers)
Language Code mya   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Burmese

Primary Language:  Burmese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1815-1985)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1832-1987)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1835-2014)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video A Greater Love
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Freedom from Suffering
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Burmese
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
99.90 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.05 %)
0.11 %
Ethnic Religions
Other / Small
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Global Prayer Digest 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more