Introduction / History
There has been very little research done on the Chak people. The Ethnologue lists the Chak people, but it does not identify what linguistic family the Chak language belongs to. It is most likely part of the Tibeto-Burman family, related to other small languages in the area such as Dainet and Thet. The Chak are not the same as the large Chakma Buddhist group of Bangladesh, who speak a language from the Indo-European family. The Chak people of western Myanmar and neighboring areas of southeast Bangladesh comprise one of the least known Buddhist ethnic groups in the world. Most live in the Blue Mountains of Rakhine State in Myanmar. They are isolated from outside influence, inhabiting small villages in a tropical forest. The Chak are not officially recognized by the Myanmar government, who acknowledge the existence of only seven tribes in Rakhine State. A similar number of Chak live across the border in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In both nations the Chak rely on simple agriculture and hunting to survive. They rarely venture outside their communities. Because of the political instability in this part of the world, the Chak have sometimes found it wiser to stay detached. In June 2001, two Chak people in Bangladesh died when they stood on a landmine while collecting bamboo.
What Are Their Beliefs?
A Portuguese Catholic monk and envoy visited Mrauk-U in 1630s. They described the royal palaces as having "massive wooden columns of such extraordinary length and straightness that one wonders there are trees so tall and so straight. In the same palace there is a hall gilt from top to bottom which they call the Golden House because it has a vine of the purest gold which occupies the whole roof of the hall, with a hundred and odd gourds of the same pure gold. There are also in that very rich house seven idols of gold, each of the size and proportions of an average man. These idols are adorned on the forehead, breast, arms and waist with many fine precious stones, rubies, emeralds and sapphires and also with some brilliant old rock diamonds of more than ordinary size.
What Are Their Needs?
The Chak people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.
Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love. Pray that the Chak people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Chak in Bangladesh.