Introduction / History
The Zou or Zo form a group of Tibeto-Burman peoples inhabiting the Chin Hills in Myanmar and Manipur in India. They are also called Yo and Jou. The earliest historical records of the Zou were written by Fan-Cho a diplomat of the Tang Dynasty of China who mentioned a kingdom in the Chindween Valley whose princes and chiefs were called Zo, Shou, or Zhou in the year 862 A. D. The most accurate historical records of the Zos/Zous were written by Rev. Fr. Vincentious Sangermano, a Roman Catholic missionary who came to Burma in 1783 A. D. While colonial records referred to the Zou tribe variously as 'Yo' or 'Yaw', the Zou community living in Manipur called itself 'Jou'. The first Christian church established by the Zou tribe in Manipur was called Jou Christian Association (JCA), founded in February of 1954. The government of India officially recognized the name of this tribe as 'Zou' in 1956. Almost all of the Zou claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Zou are subsistence farmers. Hunting and fishing also supplement the Zou’s diet. The Zou also raise animals to sell and for their own use. The Zou people love their folktales and music. Though they are Christian, their traditional marriage forms have been the same for hundreds of years.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Zou have abandoned ancestor worship, and they are officially Christian. They have successfully used their own style of music to make their own worship music. Many of the Zou continue to practice folk religion along with their Christianity.
What Are Their Needs?
The Zou need to put their complete faith in the One who came to give them a full and meaningful life. They need trained pastors who can teach them the Bible. Some Zou villages lack access to modern medicine, indoor plumbing and electricity.
* Scripture Prayers for the Zou in India.
Pray that the Zou might grow in their Christian faith and share the good news with other peoples of northeast India and Myanmar. Pray for a disciple making movement that will bless the Zou people this decade. Pray that the Zou gain access to modern medicine and that parents are able to provide adequately for their children.