The Pathen in some locations believe a frog created the heavens and the earth. After a time of living in perfect contentment, man destroyed the harmony of his peaceful existence by killing the frog. "The frog's dying curse was to divide the world into a realm for humans and a realm for spirits. Before that time, mankind did not know sickness, and when a person would die, he would rise again from the dead on the 13th day. After the curse, this no longer happened."
The Pathen live in communities according to family clans. They forbid marriage within each clan. A Pathen man must not have sexual relations with any woman of his clan. This taboo is strictly enforced. Pathen children are told horror stories of what will happen if they break this taboo. This prohibition stands for people of the same family name, even if they live in different provinces and have never previously met.
After the birth of a child, they put the placenta under the floorboards of the house. At the end of the person's life, he must make a journey back to the spiritual village of his ancestors. The dead person's soul must stop to pick up the placenta, which they believe helps the spirits identify who the person is.
The Pathen believe a person has 12 souls. "When a body is placed in a coffin, it is sprinkled with 12 measures of grilled rice, and 12 sandstone bowls are put in along with the rice." Each Pathen home contains an ancestral altar. The Pathen believe the spirits of their ancestors are fed by placing rice and meat out on the table for them. The male head of the household calls on the spirits of his ancestors to come and share in the feast and to protect his family from sickness and injury.
This tribe has rarely been focused on with the gospel and are an unevangelized people group. Their intricate rituals of ancestor worship create barriers that prevent them from embracing the gospel, yet some believe they are ready to embrace the gospel. Most simply have never had the chance to hear.
Ask God to raise up Pathen who are more desirous to know the truth than to stay on the broad road to death.
Ask God to send loving, committed workers to the Pathen in the near future.
Pray the Pathen would no longer be hidden away from the influence of Christ.
Pray for dreams and visions of the victorious, risen Christ to come to the Pathen people.
Scripture Prayers for the Pathen, Baheng in Vietnam.
Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Baheng|
|People Name in Country||Pathen, Baheng|
|Alternate Names||Baheng Bunu; Meo Lai; Pa Then; Pa-Hng; Pathen|
|Population this Country||8,400|
|Population all Countries||56,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Persecution Rank||25 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Small enclaves, Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang provinces. Source: Ethnologue 2016|