Loba in Bhutan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Loba live largely in the Mustang district of Bhutan, which extends north into what would otherwise be China. Until 1952 this small group had their own Buddhist kingdom, which was established around 1380 AD.

What Are Their Lives Like?

It is common for a Loba woman to be married to several men; this practice is called polyandry. The Loba believe that if a woman has many husbands, she has less chance of becoming a vulnerable widow. This is a unique feature of the Loba, but one that is slowly diminishing. The younger Loba want to discard it, but the older generation feels it is necessary.
The Loba are primarily farmers, shepherds or merchants. They build their homes out of stone, making the roofs out of thinly chiseled stone squares. The roofs are extremely uniform and smooth, and on each corner a small square is constructed so that prayer flags may be hung there. Most houses are built close together and have no windows, only holes in the walls to protect against the powerful winds that race up the mountains. Their homes are never built toward the south because of the fierceness of these winds. Unfortunately, this is a drawback in the summertime because the houses grow very hot due to the lack of ventilation. For this reason, people often sleep on the terraces during the summer to escape the heat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Loba are zealous believers in Tibetan Buddhism. There are many temples and monasteries throughout their territory.

What Are Their Needs?

Buddhism teaches a very different worldview than that of the Bible. It will take an act of God for them to accept biblical concepts.

Prayer Points

Pray the strongly Buddhist Loba will be given a knowledge of their sin and need for a savior.
As they hunger to know forgiveness, pray the Lord will send knowledge of his Son's death and provision for forgiveness to them.
Pray that soon there will be Loba disciples who will make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Loba in Bhutan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Loba
People Name in Country Loba
Pronunciation LOH-bah
Alternate Names Lhopa; Lhopas; Lo; Lo Manthang; Lo Montang; Lo Monthang; Lopa; Lowa; Loyu; Loyu Lo Montang; Manthang; Mustang; Mustang Bhote; Mustang Tibetans; Mustange; Sat Thapaule Bhote; लोबा
Population this Country 2,200
Population all Countries 5,300
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 13080
ROP3 Code 105808
ROP25 Code 304755
ROP25 Name Loba
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Western 2,200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Bhutan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Lhowa
Language Code loy   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Lhowa
Language Code loy   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
People Groups Speaking Lhowa

Primary Language:  Lhowa

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2009)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2022-2023)
Bible-Complete No
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
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 Oral Bible stories One Story
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Lhowa YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Lhowa YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source RiverMountainPhoto - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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