Khuen in Laos

Khuen
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Khuen
Country: Laos
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 13,000
World Population: 17,400
Primary Language: Khuen
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.06 %
Evangelicals: 0.06 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Khuen ethnic grouplive in the Nale, Sing and Viangphoukha districts of Luang Namtha Province in northwest Laos. A few Khuen spill across the border into the western part of Oudomxai Province. The Khuen share the region with communities of Nguan, Samtao and Kim Mun people.

In addition, one thousand Khuen live in Jinghong County in China's southern Yunnan Province. Refugee families of Khuen now live in Richmond, CA. and Seattle, WA. in the United States. It is important to note that the Khuen, who speak a language related to Khmu, are not the same as three other ethnic groups in Laos with similar names: Kuan, Tai Kouanne, and Khmu Keun.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Khuen families use the names of sacred animals or plants. They regard it as a taboo to touch the animal or plant that bears their family name.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Khuen were converted to Theravada Buddhism under influence of the Lu people about 400 years ago. When Christian missionary William Clifton Dodd visited the Khuen more than a century ago, he reported, "A branch of the Kamu called Kwen [Khuen] have temples and priests teaching the Yun script, and they also have village and household spirits. The other non-Buddhist Kahs have the village and household spirits and then some."

What Are Their Needs?

There are between 100 and 200 Christians among the Khuen. They first received the gospel as early as 1902. Dodd reported, "I had rapt attention from all. In the evening I had a still larger and more attentive audience. Many stayed after service to talk. They say they understand and would like to listen to such preaching every day. May the time soon come when they can have it. We left feeling that we have many kind friends among the Ka Kwen and no enemies... they said that if they had someone to teach them they would like to learn Christianity."

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give them hearts that seek after the Lord.

Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Khuen people.

In prayer, bind the spiritual strongholds that keep the Khuen people away from the Lord.

Ask God to strengthen the few Khuen who profess to follow Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project