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Palaung (Myanmar)

The Palaung People (De’and, Ta’ang) are more than 500,000 people in the Shan state in Myanmar and consist of the three branches of the Palaung people: the Ruching (Pale), the Rumai and the Shwe.

A network of national believers in Myanmar have already mobilized to gain access to people from these three groups and are eager to get audio recordings of a Gospel booklet in place to begin sharing with the Palaung.

Population estimates for each group range from 150,000 to 350,000. In the immediate area of the Shan state where our indigenous missionaries are working, there are thousands of Palaung within the reach of these missionaries.

Palaung village children near Kyaukme, Myanmar. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

What do they believe? Some have “converted” to the Theravada branch of Buddhism found in Myanmar, mostly because of localized community pressure. Most are still animists, practicing “nat” worship along with worship of elements of nature (trees, rocks, rivers, etc.) and worship of their ancestors.

Translation Method: All three dialects are classified as 5 on the EGIDS scale (Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale) which means they are in vigorous use and a written form is just now emerging or in limited use. Therefore, an oral approach supported by simple literature in the mother tongue would seem to be most effective. Simply put, that means, oral recordings of the Gospel booklet would be an effective way for a local missionary to build Gospel awareness. There are no Scriptures and only limited recordings of some Bible literature for the Shwe Palaung, and reportedly no recordings of any kind for the Rumai or Ruching.

The Opportunity: Our country coordinator in Myanmar believes the best way to reach the Palaung people groups is with personal evangelism. Indigenous missionaries from our partner organization of Bible-believing churches in Myanmar have strategically relocated into areas that allow access to thousands of Palaung people, living in the Shan state in and around Taunggyi where the mission outreach center is located. The Shwe Palaung version of the Gospel booklet is complete and has been printed for community testing. The ability to make audio recordings in Rumai and Ruching is promising.

Palaung village near Kyaukme, Myanmar (2017). Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

Your partnership with the missionaries on the ground will help bring the Gospel to nearly 500,000 unreached Palaung people in Myanmar and potentially another 10,000 to 12,000 living in China.

Palaung (Ta'ang) song

For more detailed information about each of the three groups that make up the Palaung people group cluster, download these one-page people group profiles from Asia Harvest: Palaung Shwe, Palaung Rumai, De'ang Rumai

Header image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

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