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.
There are very few Cham people in Laos. The vast majority are in other countries.
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.
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.
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|
|Population this Country||600|
|Population all Countries||331,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|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|
|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
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (2021)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|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|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.31 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|