Photo Source: Cambodia Research Network
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|Southeast Asian Peoples
Centuries ago, the Lao lived in China. Relentless pressure by the Chinese gradually forced them southward, and many settled along the Mekong River in the eighth or ninth century. When the Lao Kingdom was replaced by a Communist administration during World War II, many Lao fled to Burma and Thailand. After the Communists took Laos in the late 1970s, Lao refugees fled in makeshift boats. Though they were more likely to wind up in other nations, some came to Canada where their children and grandchildren now live. They came to other parts of Canada, but because of the connection with the French trade language, most came to Ontario. Today, the Lao usually live in urban centers, especially Montreal.
Most Lao people in Canada have been away from their homeland for decades, but they try to hang onto their culture. From the time of their arrival in the 1970s and 1980s, they began their own cultural associations, Buddhist temples, soccer leagues and youth groups. Today, their children and grandchildren are more comfortable with English than Lao, but the Lao community gathers together at Buddhist temples to preserve their religion and culture. They have festivals where everyone eats their favorite foods from their Southeast Asian homeland.
The Lao refugees in the West tend to remain Buddhist blended with many pre-Buddhist beliefs. However, there is a large Christian minority among them in Canada. They are no longer an unreached people group in this country.
Some Lao people in Canada are still in search of an identity.
Pray for the Lord to show Himself to be Jehovah Jireh, the provider for the Lao people in Canada. Pray for the Lao people in Canada to have such a spiritual hunger that they will flee to the arms of Jesus Christ. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Lao people in Canada. Pray for Christ's ambassadors to go to the Lao people in Canada.