Main menu

The Chin People

The Chin are actually several people groups from the western side of Burma (Myanmar), near India. They are called the “Hill People.” The name Chin is the Burmese name for the residents of Chin State.

Internally, they call themselves regional names — the northern Chins called themselves Zomi; the southern Chin called themselves Khumi or Khami and the Chin from the central part of Chin State call themselves Laimi. The three groups speak different dialects.

The Chin are a predominately Christian tribe. The first Protestant missionaries to Burma were Ann and Adoniram Judson in 1813, and they worked among the Karen people, who received Christ. They then began to spread the Word to their close relatives, the Chin. Arthur Carson was the first American missionary to the Chin people and came to Haka on Mar. 15, 1899. The missionaries recorded their first convert five years later. Several of the Chin in Lewisville lived close to Haka, and their grandparents and parents were some of the first Chin converts in their villages.

The missionaries spent a great deal of time giving the Chin their first written alphabet and in trying to get the Bible translated into the various dialects. All American missionaries were expelled from Burma in 1966 by the then socialist government. The Chin continued evangelizing and still do, although they are forbidden to share their faith with any Burmese.

The majority of the Chin from Lewisville are Laimi, with a few Zomi. Falam, a variant dialect of Hakha, is also spoken by some people in Lewisville. The language used in all the churches in Lewisville is Hakha Chin.