Asho Chin New Testament & Literacy

  • Location: Myanmar
  • Target Completion Date: 2031

Part of the great Chin race of Myanmar and India, the Asho Chin people trace their history back to the dawn of time. The Chins have a story of the Tower of Babel to account for the various clans that inhabit the range of hills and traditions of a deluge are found everywhere. Asho Chin-speakers reside in Yangon Division, Magway Division, Rakhine State, and Mindon Township. The population of 174,000 speaks two dialects, Plains Asho and Hill Asho. While 60% of the Asho Chin follow Buddhism, 25% of the population adhere to ethnic religions and another 25% profess Christianity (10% of whom claim to be evangelical).

American Baptist missionaries brought the message of the gospel to the Asho Chin in 1887. After more than a decade, that ministry had produced about 100 believers, and today the Asho Chin believers have established five Baptist church associations. In 2008, the Plains Asho received a Bible in their dialect and script, however, the Hill Asho cannot read this translation because they still use the Burmese script and never learned the new script.

A teacher attending Bible College in Yangon noticed individuals from several other language groups reading, writing, singing, studying, and worshipping God in their own language, and not in Burmese. She grieved to see what the Asho did not have, so after finishing her degree she began praying for her people to one day have their own written language and their own books.

Representatives from the Romanized Asho Chin Literature Committee connected with Bibles International Myanmar Society personnel in 2016 to request literacy aid and a Bible translation using Roman script. After further evaluation, this project, strongly supported by the Asho Chin churches, proved to be worth undertaking for the sake of the believers who still did not have access to the Word of God in their language.

Bibles International adopted the New Testament translation project for the Hill Asho Chin people on March 14, 2019, and began work in the area of literacy that same year, starting with a primer for the Hill Asho Chin.

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