Western Cham in Laos


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Cham are one of the ancient ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. When Marco Polo traveled through the area in 1285, he reported that Chamba was... "a very rich region, having a king of its own. The people are idolaters and pay a yearly tribute to the Great Kaan, which consists of elephants and nothing but elephants...."

The Cham language is part of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. It is divided into two varieties, Western Cham and Eastern Cham, which enjoy only limited mutual intelligibility.

A small number of Cham people live in the capital city of Laos, Vientiane. The Cham are one of the most well-known and interesting people groups in Southeast Asia, but few are aware of their existence within the country of Laos, although one tourist book does mention them... "A very small number of Muslims live in Vientiane, mostly Arab and Indian merchants whose ancestry dates back as far as the 17th century. Vientiane also harbors a small community of Chams, Cambodian Muslims who fled Pol Pot's Democratic Kampuchea in the 1970s. The latter now have their own mosque in Vientiane."

The majority of Cham live in Cambodia. More live in Vietnam, while others live in countries as diverse as Malaysia, Thailand, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and Libya. The Cham Diaspora reflects their history as a great sea-faring people.


What Are Their Lives Like?

There are very few Cham people in Laos. The vast majority are in other countries.


What Are Their Beliefs?

While all Western Cham (including those in Laos) are Muslims, the Eastern Cham follow a complicated religious mix including Brahmanism, a sect of Hinduism that venerates Siva.


What Are Their Needs?

The Western Cham are a completely unreached people group in Asia. There are handful of known believers among them in Canada and the United States, however.


Prayer Points

The Cham in Laos are strong Muslims. Pray Christ would place a hunger in their hearts to find grace and mercy in Jesus Christ.

Pray Christian believers in Vientiane would share the gospel with the Cham.

Pray that obstacles to the flow of the gospel be removed.


Scripture Prayers for the Cham, Western in Laos.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Cham, Western
People Name in Country Cham, Western
Natural Name Western Cham
Pronunciation chom
Population this Country 600
Population all Countries 324,000
Total Countries 7
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Cambodian; Cambodian Cham; Chăm (Chàm); Chiem; Chiem Thanh; Hoi; Thanh; Tjam; West Cham; Western Cham
People ID 15361
ROP3 Code 110776
Country Laos
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Vientiane Municipality   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999
Country Laos
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Vientiane Municipality.   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999
Primary Language Cham, Western (600 speakers)
Language Code cja   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Cham, Western (600 speakers)
Language Code cja   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Cham, Western

Primary Language:  Cham, Western

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1968-2015)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2021)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Cham, Western
General Gospel resources links
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.31 %)
0.31 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
99.69 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Cambodia Research Network  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Anonymous  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more