Tshangla, also known as Sharchopka, is the heart language of the Sharchop people in Eastern Bhutan, a region wwhere preaching of the gospel and planting churches is prohibited by law. Tshangla, spoken by 170,000 people, is an unwritten language — it has no alphabet and is not taught in schools. Half of Tshangla speakers are illiterate.
The Sharchop people are considered Bhutan’s earliest residents and live along the mountain cliffs of the Himalayas and build their homes on stilts. The Sharchop often use slash and burn methods for farming, planting rice in cleared sections of land for a period of time before moving on to the next field. The indigenous Sharchop people are marginalized and sometimes even persecuted by others in the community. There is a very small group of Christians in the area, and many more are seeking to know the truth. The only way to reach these seekers is through radio and webcasting. Words of Hope’s Tshangla ministry began in 2016.