Western Cham in United States

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Most Western Cham people live in Cambodia and other Southeast Asia nations. In their native land, they are an agricultural people who live in rural villages. Almost all Western Cham are Muslims. Being a Muslim is part of their identity. After the end of the Vietnam war, some Western Cham migrated to the USA. They live mainly in Southern California's Orange County, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In USA Cham parents and grandparents struggle to keep their children from the destructive behavior they see around them like joining gangs and using drugs. They also struggle to keep their children from leaving the Cham culture. This culture embraces their own form of folk Islam. The Cham in Orange County have their own mosque. In Seattle, they are more likely to share their places of worship with other Muslim groups.

The Cham who come to the USA must adapt to a modern industrial society. The Cham must find a place to live, enroll their children in local schools and find employment. Since most Cham adults possess few job skills, they often must take low-paying jobs in security, sanitation, transportation, and in the food industry. Once they become proficient in English, they can find better jobs. Cham parents dream that their children will graduate from college and have a better life than they experienced.

In Southeast Asia, Cham families arrange marriages. In the USA young people choose their own mates. Within two generations Cham young people are hardly distinguishable from other American youth.

Cham villagers are extremely poor and their settlements convey a sense of impermanence. They are now largely integrated into the Cambodian lifestyle and many now speak Khmer.
What Are Their Beliefs?

Though some Cham people in the past were Hindu, most are now Muslim. Their social interactions are usually with other Muslims who reinforce their traditional beliefs. Muslims have no concept of a loving Heavenly Father who can direct their lives and provide them abundant life. In Southeast Asia the Cham practice an Islam heavily mixed with folk religion and ancestor worship. In the USA many Cham become secular and stop attending mosque. This is especially true of young people who are educated in secular American schools.

Only a tiny fraction of Western Cham claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

Newly arrived Western Cham need help in the practical areas of learning English and finding a place to live and a job. Churches and individual believers can help the Cham in these practical ways. Most of all, the Cham need to hear the good news of Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for God to raise up believers among the Cham people who will stop at nothing to have his name praised among the Cham people.

Pray for American believers to take the time to befriend and disciple people from Cham communities.

Pray that the spiritual eyes of Cham's hearts will be open in such a way that they desire to become part of something bigger than themselves: spiritual children in the church of God.

Ask the Lord to send workers to help the Cham in the USA.

Scripture Prayers for the Cham, Western in United States.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Cham, Western
People Name in Country Cham, Western
Natural Name Western Cham
Pronunciation chom
Alternate Names Cambodian; Cambodian Cham; Chăm (Chàm); Chiem; Chiem Thanh; Hoi; Thanh; Tjam; West Cham; Western Cham
Population this Country 3,400
Population all Countries 330,000
Total Countries 7
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 15361
ROP3 Code 110776
ROP25 Code 301650
ROP25 Name Cham
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Cham, Western (3,400 speakers)
Language Code cja   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Cham, Western (3,400 speakers)
Language Code cja   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Cham, Western

Primary Language:  Cham, Western

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1968-2015)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2021)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) 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
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Cham, Western Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Cambodia Research Network  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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