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Naza in China


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Naza in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,700 Language unknown Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % Not available Not available   

Naza in China

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The Naza have been officially counted in China as part of the Yi nationality. They live in the same district as the Liude people yet retain a separate ethnicity from the Liude and all other Yi groups in China. The Naza are also known as the Nazaren and Nazasu.

The Naza were formerly involved in the slave system that dominated people's lives in the northern Yunnan-southern Sichuan area. The history of the tribes in this region also featured regular warfare and conflict. Larger groups, such as the Xiaoliangshan Nosu, have used their population size to oppress and enslave smaller tribes, often raiding their villages and carrying away men, beasts, and goods.

The Naza today lead relatively quiet lives in the mountains. They raise pigs, goats, and poultry as well as grow rice and vegetables. Until the 1970s few people knew of the Naza. Their village is still accessible by foot only.

Polytheism, mixed with ancestor worship, is the main religious belief of the Naza. They worship the sun, moon, and stars, as well as a host of local spirits and deities. One missionary in the early 1900s, commenting on the spiritual beliefs of the Yi in a different area, wrote, "After the ingathering of buckwheat, when the crop is stacked on the threshing floor and the work of threshing is about to begin, the simple formula 'Thank you Je-so-mo' is pronounced. Je-so-mo seems to be a spirit who controls the crops; whether good or evil is not easy to determine. Mo is the generic name for 'sage' or 'spirit'. Je-so is so like the name Je-su, which the Chinese and Miao use for Jesus, that some of the Yi wished to use Je-so for the name of our Savior; but to this the missionaries very wisely did not consent, as they did not know who, or what sort of a person, Je-somo was. Je-so-mo is not God, for when the Nosu wish to speak of God they use the word Se, which means 'Master' or 'Lord'."

The Naza are an unreached and largely unevangelized people group. No more than a few of their population have ever received an intelligible gospel witness. Yongsheng County is almost completely devoid of Christian presence, except for a few Han Chinese and possibly Lisu believers.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Northeast Asia
Persecution Rank:43 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 1,300 people of the Naza ethnic group inhabits just one village in the northern part of Yunnan Province in southern China. They live in the Nazi Village within the Liude Community, in the Liude District of Yongsheng County. Yongsheng is a mountainous region bordered to the north by Sichuan Province.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Naza
People Name General: Naza
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114253
Joshua Project People ID: 18632
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,700
Population all Countries: 1,700
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Naza
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Language unknown (1,700 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): Unknown     
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions98.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious2.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Naza in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Northeast Asia    
      Naza China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Naza in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Language unknown  
    All Religions                              

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