Lao in Thailand


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Centuries ago, the Lao lived in China. However, 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. There are a small number of Lao people in Thailand today.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Lao are traditionally distinguished from the surrounding peoples by three criteria: the sticky rice they eat (steamed rather than boiled), the skirts worn by their women, and their musical instruments. A bamboo wind instrument called the khene is the most widely known instrument. They also play the khouy, which is an end-blown flute. Music is part of every festival, and it is frequently heard as people work in the fields. Most of the Lao are wet-rice farmers. They grow rice both as a dietary staple and as a cash crop. They cultivate rice with wooden equipment drawn by buffalo, although they might also use the "slash and burn" method. Some of the Lao in Thailand are also blacksmiths, carpenters or fishermen. Their houses are typically made of wood or bamboo and are built high on stilts. Poultry, pigs, and goats are allowed to run freely underneath the houses. Farm lands are adjacent to the villages. The Buddhist Wat, or temple, is the center of Lao village life. Village leadership is usually divided; the chief has authority in secular matters, while the Buddhist monk has authority in religious issues. Lao society has no rigid social class system. Instead, their social structure is based on family units, with no widespread lineages or clans. Sexual promiscuity before marriage is common.


The Lao belong to the Tai linguistic group, which began migrating southward from China in the first millennium after Christ, and which now politically and culturally dominate other Laotian groups.
What Are Their Beliefs?

More than half of the Lao are Buddhists. They believe that right thinking, ritual sacrifices, and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana (a state of eternal bliss) at death. They live in fear of their gods and constantly strive to appease them with ritual chants and sacrifices. One-third of the Lao are ethnic religionists, combining folk animism (belief that non-human objects have spirits) with Buddhism. They seek help through various supernatural beings and objects. Of major importance to them are territorial deities whom they believe have much power over their daily lives.


What Are Their Needs?

The Lao people are safer in Thailand than they are in Laos, but they still need protection from natural disasters and crop failures. Those who fled Laos as political dissidents are still in danger.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to show Himself to be Jehovah Jireh, the provider for the Lao people in Thailand. Pray for the Lao people in Thailand 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 Thailand. Pray for Christ's ambassadors to go to the Lao people in Thailand.


Scripture Prayers for the Lao in Thailand.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Lao
People Name in Country Lao
Pronunciation lao
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
Population this Country 62,000
Population all Countries 4,008,000
Total Countries 11
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12989
ROP3 Code 105643
ROP25 Code 304598
ROP25 Name Lao
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered   Source: 
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Scattered.   Source: 

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
97.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Lao (62,000 speakers)
Language Code lao   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Lao (62,000 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)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Lao Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app: Lao YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Lao YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Lao Literacy & Evangelism International
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
Photo Source Cambodia Research Network 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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