The Lao Phuan people live in Laos and Thailand. They have a distinct language (Phuan) and culture. The Lao Phuan enjoyed social prominence in Laos for centuries. That changed in the 1800’s. After several decades of war, over half of them migrated to Thailand where they live in small communities.
Most Lao Phuans work in the textile industry or farming. They wear colorful pakamas (not to be confused with pajamas!) which is a sarong-like garment that they manufacture. Rice is the Phuans cash crop. Their kitchen gardens yield fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. Chickens, ducks, pigs, and fish provide protein.
96.5% profess Buddhism. Those in Thailand practice regular Buddhism, but those in Laos are actually animists who worship “the guiding spirits.” The Lao Phuan are in bondage to these spirits. Only about 1% profess Christianity. Of those, most are Catholic.
There is little if any missionary work being done among this large people group (341,000) and they do not have a Bible in their language, not even a small portion.