The Pana people are located in the Toubouro Subdivision of the Mayo-Rey Division.
But they are spread widely across international borders of Chad, Nigeria, and Central African Republic (CAR), with the largest population in Cameroon and CAR. The total speakers of this language are estimated at 86,000 people. The Pana people are mostly subsistence farmers, growing millet, onion, carrots, peanuts and cotton.
The denominations that are present include: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon, Catholic, Seventh Day Ad-ventist, Bible Church of Grace, Union of Evangelical Brethren, Lutheran Brethren Church of Cameroon, Apostolic Church, and True Church of God. About 50% of the Pana people in Cameroon may be consi-dered to be Muslims. Islam is growing in the Pana commu-nity.
Since 1965 when the Mboum New Testament and Psalms were published, they have been read in Pana church services. The need to have the scriptures in Pana became so necessary that by 1983 a group of Pana people attended translation principles and linguistics courses.
The President of the Pana Language Development Com-mittee, while addressing a team from CABTAL in December 2007, had this to say: We present to you our needs so that you can help the Mboum Pana people to have their literature, song books and Bible because a com-munity without literature is a lost community.
The publications in Pana include the gospel of Mark and John, a lexicon, a song book and an alphabet of about 35 words. All of this was done with the assistance of a SIL member. More linguistics research is required, including work on phonology. Also, with many neighboring lan-guages already having the New Testaments or Bible portions, the Pana people are willing to engage in partnerships that can lead them to have the New Testament in Pana. This has been strongly requested by the church authorities in that community.
It is anticipated that the Pana communities and the churches will be mobilized for Bible translation and using Pana Scriptures. They will develop strategies and resources to sustain their language de-velopment. It is further en-visaged that there will be a growing interest to learn how to read and write Pana.
Pray for more solidarity between the Pana of Cameroon and Central African Republic. Pray that they shall be called sought out and not forsaken. Read Isaiah 62:12
Last modified: 2009-01-22