Baras in Indonesia

The Baras have only been reported in Indonesia
This people group’s population is unknown or estimated to be extremely small. This people group may have assimilated into larger surrounding groups and may no longer be recognizable as a distinct group. To ensure every people group is represented, Joshua Project includes unknown and very small population people groups until on-site research determines they do not exist. More info at Small People Group Policy.
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The tiny Baras tribe is unengaged and unreached, which means that there are few if any believers among them and no Christian workers. They live on the east coast of the island of Sulawesi in the nation of Indonesia. The Baras make their living by agriculture and fishing.

The Baras speak their own language, Baras. The Baras language and culture may disappear in the next few years. Young Baras are learning Bahasa Indonesian, the national language.

Indonesia gained its freedom from the Netherlands in 1949. It is the largest Muslim majority country in the world as well as the fourth largest nation by population. Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands of which 10,000 are inhabited. Indonesia has oil, natural gas and mineral assets but the average Baras person frequently does not benefit from the nation’s wealth.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Some of young adult Baras are leaving the villages and seeking a better life in Indonesian cities. Some young people are marrying outside the Baras and are absorbed in neighboring tribes. The Baras live much like their ancestors fishing in the sea and growing rice, maize, coconuts, fruits and vegetables. Life revolves around the village. Elders make judicial decision and deal with outsiders. Houses are built on stilts for protection against flooding. The Baras trade their surplus farm products and fish for cell phones and appliances. Most villages have a few chickens and goats to supplement Baras’ diets.

The Baras are primarily an oral culture. Their traditions and culture are passed on by means of songs, poems, dances and art work. Some of the men have a working knowledge of Bahasa Indonesian so they can communicate with outsiders. Until recently the Baras married within their group. Now because of their declining numbers, young people often seek spouses from other tribes. Families tend to be large. Children are seen as blessings from Allah. It is the sons’ responsibility to take care of their elderly parents. Many children die before their tenth birthday due to the lack of modern medicine.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The primary religion practiced by the Baras is Islam, a monotheistic religion built around the teachings of the Koran and of the prophet Mohammad. The Baras’ Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion and animism. The village shaman connects the Baras with the spirit world. The Baras believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, hills, rivers, mountains, animals and the sky. The shaman provides charms and performs rituals to protect the Baras from the evil spirits.

Muslims are taught at a young age that they have the perfect religious system and the perfect law, spelled out for them in the Koran. Before most of them have any contact with Christ followers they are taught that the Bible has been corrupted and that Jesus did not pay for our sins by dying on the cross. There are few if any followers of Christ among the Baras. There are currently no Christian resources available in the Baras language.


What Are Their Needs?

The Baras need to understand that Isa or Jesus is more than a human prophet. He alone can forgive their sins and free them from the fear of evil spirits.

There are several Christian people groups that live on Sulawesi Island that can reach out to this small people group. The Baras people need someone to live out the gospel in their midst.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Baras.

Pray for believers to have the boldness, love, compassion, and courage to take Christ to the Baras people of Sulawesi.

Pray that there will soon be a disciple making movement among them that will transform their communities and help them flourish as a people.

Pray that the Bible and other resources to be translated into the Baras language.


Scripture Prayers for the Baras in Indonesia.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Pray for Sulawesi
People Name General Baras
People Name in Country Baras
Population this Country 70
Population all Countries 70
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Ende
People ID 10681
ROP3 Code 101044
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sulawesi Barat Province, Mamuju Utara Regency, Karossa subdistrict, Salubiro village, Baras subdistrict, in and north of Bambaloka village.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sulawesi Barat Province, Mamuju Utara Regency, Karossa subdistrict, Salubiro village, Baras subdistrict, in and north of Bambaloka village..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Baras (70 speakers)
Language Code brs   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Baras (70 speakers)
Language Code brs   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Baras

Primary Language:  Baras

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2010)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
90.00 %
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
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more