Daingnet Chakma in Myanmar (Burma)

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Burmese Chakma dwell in the mountains of northern Rakhine State of Myanmar and adjacent southern areas of Chin State. The Chakma are known officially as Daignet, one of the seven official ethnic groups in Rakhine State.

Unlike Tibeto-Burman speaking tribes in Myanmar, who migrated southward from China, the Chakma came from Bangladesh or India to escape warfare in Bengal. They primary language of the Daignet people is Chakma. The New Testament and the Jesus Film are available in the Chakma language.

Myanmar gained its independence from Britain in 1948. Much of modern Burmese history has tragically been one of civil wars between the Burmese majority and the nation's minority groups that includes the Shan, Karen, Lahu and Rohingya. The Burmese military launched another coup in 2021 and is currently ruling the country.

The Daignet Chakma people are an indigenous people who live in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. The vast majority of the Chakma reside in Bangladesh and India. A much smaller group lives in west central Myanmar near the Bangladeshi border.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Chakma make their living by agriculture and animal husbandry. Their staple food is rice. Along with rice, the Chakma cultivate tropical fruits, vegetables, palm trees, coconuts, and cotton. Most villages also raise chickens, pigs and goat to supplement their diets. Some Chakma men work in the fishing and logging industries. The Chakma trade rice, cotton and fish to buy things they cannot make for themselves such as cell phones and appliances. Some Chakma young people are leaving the rural villages and moving to cities in search of a better life.

Marriage to one spouse is the norm among the Daignet. Couples tend to have many children. Many children die before their tenth birthday due to the lack of modern medicine. Rural children often quit school after a few years to help their families make a living. Illiteracy is an issue for Chakma women and girls. Elders rule the villages and make judicial decisions. It is adult sons' responsibility to take care of their aged parents. Young people choose their own spouses with the consent of their families.

The Chakma are primarily an oral culture. They have a tradition of songs, poems, dances, art and festive clothing which are prominent on Buddhist holidays. If a son joins a Buddhist monastery, the family gains honor in the sight of other Chakma people.

The Chakma people live in a part of India where there are believers nearby, and not just any believers, but people who follow Christ with all their hearts
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Chakma claim to have converted to Buddhism long before coming to Myanmar, and still practice Buddhism to this day, along with many animistic and folk religious practices.

Buddhism is the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, who lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana.

To most Buddhists, however, these things have far less meaning than their traditional beliefs, which are usually animistic. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Buddhism allows people to mix Buddhist teachings with traditional religion.

Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday in December or January which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.

What Are Their Needs?

Today there few if any known Christians among the Chakma in Myanmar. There is a growing movement to Christ among the Chakma of India and Bangladesh. Teams of believers can bring modern medicine and solar panels to the Chakma villages. The Burmese Chakma must see the love of Christ shown to them in practical ways. Most of all, the Chakma must hear the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Chakma of Myanmar.

Pray the Holy Spirit gives the Chakma people a desire to read the Chakma New Testament.

Pray that Chakma believers in India and Bangladesh would come and tell the Burmese Chakma about God's good news about Christ.

Pray the Lord establishes a growing church among the Burmese Chakma in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Chakma, Daingnet in Myanmar (Burma).

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Chakma
People Name in Country Chakma, Daingnet
Natural Name Daingnet Chakma
Alternate Names Chakama; Chawngma; Daingnet; Doingnak; Thet; Tsak; चागमा
Population this Country 29,000
Population all Countries 817,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11293
ROP3 Code 101976
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Chin State: Paletwa township, a few villages; Rakhine State: Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Punnakyun, and Kyauktaw (main concentration) townships.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Chin State: Paletwa township, a few villages; Rakhine State: Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Punnakyun, and Kyauktaw (main concentration) townships..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Theravada
Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Chakma (29,000 speakers)
Language Code ccp   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Chakma (29,000 speakers)
Language Code ccp   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Chakma

Primary Language:  Chakma

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1924-1955)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1926-2012)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2021)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Chakma Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Chakma YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Chakma Literacy & Evangelism International
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2023  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Anonymous  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more