Changpa in Pakistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Champa people live in northern India and northeast Pakistan in the high mountains. The Nghari Tibetans in China are also called Changtang Tibetans, after the massive plain of the same name. The primary occupation of the Changpa is nomadic animal husbandry.
At one time, the Changpa were considered a sub-group of the Ladakhi people, but their customs and ethnicity are different from those of the Ladakhi. Balti is the first language of the Changpa of Pakistan. Bible portions and the JESUS Film are available in Balti. There are few if any believers among the Changpa of Pakistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The area inhabited by the Changpa in Jammu and Kashmir is cold. Living at an average altitude of 4,000 to 5,000 meters (13,000 to 16,000 ft.) above sea level, the Changpa's homeland is ravaged by snowstorms and avalanches during the long winter months.
The Changpa come down the mountains to trade at the Changthang Nyoma market. They send some of their boys to be educated in Tibetan schools. Having a Buddhist monk in the family is considered an honor.
The diet of the Changpa people consists of barley and the meat of yak and horses. They often eat dried cheese and meat boiled with barley flour and seasoned with chilies. The Changpa trade their surplus animal products to buy grain and things they cannot make for themselves like tools and cell phones.
Most Changpa people are nomadic pastoralists. They raise sheep, goats, yaks, and horses. They are particularly noted for the cashmere wool they produce. The Changpa can be identified by their conical yak-skin tents. The Changpa who live nomadic lives are known as Phalpa, while those who have settled down in fixed locations are called Fangpa.
Illteracy is an issue for the Champa. Since many Changpa are nomadic it is difficult for their children to attend school. Even if a school is nearby, the children frequently quit school early to help their parents make a living. The Changpa marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Some children die before the age of ten because the Changpa do not have regular access to modern medicine.

What Are Their Beliefs?

All Changpa families profess Tibetan Buddhism as their religion. Buddhism occupies a central place in their culture. Each tent invariably accommodates the family deity, Donaq, and a picture of their spiritual head, the Dalai Lama. The bon (shamanistic) practices are conspicuous among the Changpa despite the efforts of the Buddhists to erase it. Another source states, Buddhism rests quite lightly on them, as they have more faith in their traditional beliefs and practices. In this form of primitive religion, a carryover from the early bon religion, the spirits and serpents are considered very important. They believe the world of spirits and serpents are both complex and fearful. They blame evil spirits for unwelcome events like harsh weather, or death. Their supreme spirit is known as Changmen, who controls about 360 spirits in the Changthang area.
The Champa could surely be ranked among the most unreached people groups in the world. Because of their remarkably isolated existence, very few have ever been exposed to the gospel, which has failed to penetrate their remote part of the world.

What Are Their Needs?

The Champa people need to accept the embrace of the savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives. The Changpa would benefit by obtaining portable solar cells. Another need they have is access to modern medicine.

Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead the Changpa of Pakistan from darkness to light.
Pray for signs and wonders among the Changpa and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to the Changpa.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among the Changpa in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Changpa in Pakistan.


Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Changpa
People Name in Country Changpa
Alternate Names Byangskat; Cangpa; Cham; Champa Lakadhi; Champa Lakakhi; Changs-skat; Changtang; Changthang; Fangpa; Phalpa; Rong; Rupshu; Stotpa; Thangtang Lakakhi; चंगपा
Population this Country 200
Population all Countries 3,400
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 17870
ROP3 Code 113346
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Gilgit-Baltistan 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 Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Balti (200 speakers)
Language Code bft   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Balti (200 speakers)
Language Code bft   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Balti

Primary Language:  Balti

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1903-1981)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
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 Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Balti Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.