In 1887 Vietnam became part of French Indochina. After WWII the Vietnamese declared freedom from France but France rule continued until Communist Ho Chi Min overthrew them in 1954. The Geneva Accord of 1954 split the country into North and South Vietnam. The US gave aid to South Vietnam but withdrew from the country in 1973. Two years later the Communist North overtook the South and "re-united" the country.
The Jarai are a people group in the Southern Vietnam Central Highlands. The Jarai language is related to the Cham language of Vietnam and the Malayo-Polynesian languages of Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar and the Philipines. Because they are an ethnic minority in Vietnam the Jarai face persecution. The Jarai sought independence through the failed attempt of the Degar Movement.
The Jarai are located in the Highlands of Southern Vietnam. Jarai live mainly in the Gia Lai and Kon Tum Provinces of Southern Vietnam. They are also found scattered in several other provinces of Vietnam and in Cambodia. The Jarai make their living by growing corn and rice.
The Jarai trace are matrilineal and trace their ancestry through the women. Jarai villages are laid out in a square. Everything is arranged around the village center. The village center has a communal house, a well, volleyball nets and a rice mill. Jarai villages are named after nearby rivers or village chiefs. Houses were once made of bamboo but more recently are made of wood with steel roofs.
Jarai enjoy music and perform music on gongs, xylophones and zithers. The The Jarai are also known for their use of bamboo tubes for wind flutes and percussion. Jarai traditional dress includes indigo blouses and long skirts worn by the women.
Most Jarai are animists. They believe that demons inhabit creation and animals are sacrificed to appease these spirits. The most popular spirits are that of fire and water. When a person dies there is a prolonged funeral/time of mourning as part of the death ceremony. Carved effigies and totems are often made for the deceased. During the final death ceremony the Jarai will claim the person officially dead and the spirit released. If the deceased was married the living spouse is then free to marry.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance brought Christianity to the Jarai in the 1970s. The Jarai Christians of Cambodia and Vietnam number around 100,000.
* Pray that Jarai Christians would be trained to lead the church and share Him with others.
* Pray that Christian Jarai would use their instruments to worship God.
* Pray that the Jarai would find freedom from the spirits.
* Pray that the Jarai would find freedom in the biblical understanding of death.
|Profile Source: Rachel Routt|
|People Name General||Jarai|
|People Name in Country||Jarai|
|Population in Vietnam||448,000|
|Progress Scale||5 ●|
|GSEC||6 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Alternate Names||Cho-rai, Chrai, Djarai, Gia-rai, Gio-rai, Jorai, J'rai|
|Persecution Rank||17 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Binh Dinh provinces; some in Dak Lak province. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Jarai (448,000 speakers)|
|Language Code||jra Ethnologue Listing|
|Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|Dialect Code||11109 Global Recordings Listing|
|People Groups||Speaking Jarai|
Primary Language: Jarai
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1974)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum of Bible Agencies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Jarai|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Hơdrôm Hră Rơgoh Hiam|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Jarai New Testament|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent *|
|Christianity (Evangelical 26.33 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|
|Photo Source||Cambodia Research Network. Click to email CRN inquires and corrections Copyrighted © Used with permission|
|Profile Source||Rachel Routt|
|Data Sources||Data is compiled from various sources. Read more|