Bulang in Thailand

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
Fabio Nodari - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Bulang
Country: Thailand
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,400
World Population: 121,400
Primary Language: Blang
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.40 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Several smaller ethnolinguistic people groups have been combined by the Chinese to form the official Bulang nationality in China. The Bulang traditionally lived in small clans, according to ancestral affiliations. Each clan possessed its own land, and each member of the clan was responsible to work and harvest the crops. If a family moved away from the area, it forfeited its right to own land or reap the benefits from the produce. The Bulang language has great linguistic variety.
Though most Bulang people live in China's Yunnan Province, they also live in nearby Myanmar and Thailand. Eastern Shan State in Myanmar is home to Bulang, especially in the Mong Yang area and near the city of Kengtung. Of the three countries inhabited by the Bulang, Thailand has the smallest number. Most live outside Mae Sai City near the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. The Bulang in Thailand fled China in the 1960s because of persecution from communist authorities. About 200 families first moved into Myanmar, before entering Thailand in 1974.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many of the Bulang are employed as gardeners in Bangkok.
Each Bulang village has its own cemetery where the dead of each family line are buried. The remains of those who die from unnatural circumstances are cremated.
Bulang are renowned as friendly people. The older women love to chew betel nut, which they spit into the dirt. Betel nut stains their teeth black; this is considered a mark of beauty among the Bulang.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For centuries the Bulang have been ardent followers of Theravada Buddhism. Most of their villages are located alongside Tai people, who adhere to the same religion. Temples and idols are located throughout their communities. Many Bulang men enter the Buddhist monkhood, which brings great honor to their families. Few Bulang have ever heard of Christ, and few care to seek for anything beyond what they already believe. They strive to observe the Buddhist Tripitika (Three Baskets) teaching: practicing self-discipline, preaching, and discussing doctrine. The Bulang believe that right thinking, sacrifices, and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana, a state of eternal bliss.
The few evangelistic efforts that have focused on the Bulang have usually been discontinued by mission groups who invariably found a much more willing reception to their message from other groups in the area. Protestant work among the Bulang prior to 1949 resulted in 30 families being converted. Most of them gave up their faith during the oppressive Cultural Revolution, but there are about 50 Bulang Christians remaining in China today. Bulang translation work has begun in Thailand, but the Bulang in China will not be able to understand the script.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bulang people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.

Prayer Points

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

Text Source:   Joshua Project