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Shui in China


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Shui in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
322,000 Sui Ethnic Religions 0.28 % 0.25 % Not available   

Shui in China

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The Shui are one of China's 55 official minorities. Their name, which means "water" in Chinese, reflects their history. They were originally part of the Luo-yue tribe who lived along China's southeastern coast. Centuries later they were forced to migrate inland to their present mountainous location. Today the Shui still have more than ten different words for "fish."

The Shui are proud of their history, which dates back as far as 200 BC in Chinese records. The Shui have traditionally enjoyed good relationships with the Chinese. A Shui man, Teng Enming, was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party.

Shui women wear a white headdress for three years after the death of a relative. After the three-year period they can wear black again. Most Shui village leaders are able to read the 500 to 600-year-old ancient Shui script. The book contains a Shui code of ethics and behavior. Some leaders are teaching the script to young Shui boys. The Shui live in villages that are arranged according to family clans.

All Shui worship their ancestors. This is considered their main religion. It keeps them in bondage to the past and prevents them from receiving Christ, because to do so would be considered an insult to their ancestors.

Several French Catholic missionaries first went to the Shui in 1884. By the early 1900s some 30 Catholic churches and 5,000 Shui Christians existed. However, all the believers were put to death or fell away during the anti-Christian movement of 1906. In recent years, missionaries have traveled to the villages that formerly contained Catholic churches and have not found a trace of Christianity remaining - neither old buildings nor any knowledge of the gospel among the people. Today there are reported to be only "a small number of Christians" among the Shui. Another source adds, "a handful of Catholic believers remain." A breakthrough came in late 1997 and 1998 when approximately 100 Shui people came to Christ and were being discipled by Chinese believers.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-18
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-17
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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:Approximately 430,000 members of the Shui minority live in southern Guizhou Province, primarily in Duyun, Sandu, and Libo counties. In addition, small numbers of Shui are located in northern Guangxi. The descendants of eight Shui families who migrated out of China about 50 years ago live in northern Vietnam.
(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: Shui
People Name General: Shui
Alternate People Names:
Sui LiSuijia
ROP3 Code: 114309
Joshua Project People ID: 18682
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 322,000
Population all Countries: 322,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Shui
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sui (322,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): swi    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Shui
Dialect Code:4855
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.28 %(Evangelical: 0.25 %)
Ethnic Religions92.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious7.72 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent55.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic45.00 %
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) 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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Sui
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Shui in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Northeast Asia    
      Shui China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Shui in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Sui  
    All Religions                              

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