Lao in Canada

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Centuries ago, the Lao lived in China. Relentless pressure by the Chinese gradually forced them southward, and many settled along the Mekong River in the eighth or ninth century. When the Lao Kingdom was replaced by a Communist administration during World War II, many Lao fled to Burma and Thailand. After the Communists took Laos in the late 1970s, Lao refugees fled in makeshift boats. Though they were more likely to wind up in other nations, some came to Canada where their children and grandchildren now live. They came to other parts of Canada, but because of the connection with the French trade language, most came to Ontario. Today, the Lao usually live in urban centers, especially Montreal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Lao people in Canada have been away from their homeland for decades, but they try to hang onto their culture. From the time of their arrival in the 1970s and 1980s, they began their own cultural associations, Buddhist temples, soccer leagues and youth groups. Today, their children and grandchildren are more comfortable with English than Lao, but the Lao community gathers together at Buddhist temples to preserve their religion and culture. They have festivals where everyone eats their favorite foods from their Southeast Asian homeland.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Lao refugees in the West tend to remain Buddhist blended with many pre-Buddhist beliefs. However, there is a large Christian minority among them in Canada. They are no longer an unreached people group in this country.

What Are Their Needs?

Some Lao people in Canada are still in search of an identity.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to show Himself to be Jehovah Jireh, the provider for the Lao people in Canada. Pray for the Lao people in Canada to have such a spiritual hunger that they will flee to the arms of Jesus Christ. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Lao people in Canada. Pray for Christ’s ambassadors to go to the Lao people in Canada.

Scripture Prayers for the Lao in Canada.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-05-28
Lao profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Lao
People Name in Country Lao
Pronunciation lao
Population this Country 14,000
Population all Countries 3,907,000
Total Countries 11
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Eastern Thai; Lào; Lao Boc; Lao Noi; Lao Wiang; Lao-Lu; Lao-Noi; Laotian Tai; Laotian Thai; Lum Lao; Phou Lao; Rong Kong; Tai Lao; Ts'un Lao
People ID 12989
ROP3 Code 105643
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

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Primary Language Lao (14,000 speakers)
Language Code lao   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Lao (14,000 speakers)
Language Code lao   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Lao

Primary Language:  Lao

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1906-1967)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1926-1973)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1932-2012)
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 Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Lao
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
General Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
General Zume Resources
General Zume Training
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Lao
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Lao
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Theravada
Major Religion Percent
80.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
25.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
5.0 %
40.0 %
Roman Catholic
30.0 %
Photo Source Cambodia Research Network 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more