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Samadu, Western in China

Samadu, Western

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
9,800 Chinese, Mandarin Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Samadu, Western in China

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The Western Samadu were originally Han Chinese soldiers who were sent from eastern China to Yunnan many centuries ago. They stayed in Yunnan, married local Yi women, and gradually evolved into a distinct ethnic group called the Samadu. Based on cultural and linguistic factors, the Western Samadu were officially included under the Yi nationality in China.

The Samadu claim they originated in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces in eastern China. From there, they say they were sent to Kunming as soldiers in the Ming Dynasty armies, and from there some of them were dispatched to western Yunnan to patrol rebellious areas. In this regard they are similar to the Western Gaisu people, who also live in Yongde County.

Western Samadu culture is now virtually indistinguishable from the Han Chinese around them. The only factors that make them different today are their ethnic name, their history, and their language, which is fast becoming extinct.

Older Western Samadu practice animism and ancestor worship. The younger generation, having been educated in atheistic schools, are mostly non religious and view the superstitions of their forefathers with contempt. David Adeney, a former CIM missionary to China, found that Communism was not merely a political system but a religion set on conquering the hearts and minds of its subjects. "The Communist gospel says that God is not love, God is not personal; rather God is an inevitable necessity which moves in history to redeem men's bodies and minds from the slavery of hunger and injustice...Thus, while Communism has no concept of God, it supplies a substitute. Man in society becomes the God of Communism."

The Western Samadu are not known to contain any Christians. There are some Wa and Lahu believers in the general area they inhabit, but few believers have ever made a specific effort to reach out to the Western Samadu. There are several other Yi groups in Zhenkang and Yongde counties, including the Limi, Mishaba Laluo, Pengzi, Suan, Western Gaisu, and Yangliu Lalu, but all are unreached people groups in desperate need of the gospel. Because their language is on the verge of extinction, the Western Samadu could now best be reached by Chineselanguage media.

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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:According to a 1999 source, 7,500 Western Samadu people live in the western part of Yunnan Province in southwest China. The majority (6,000) live in Zhenkang County, while an additional 1,500 inhabit areas within neighboring Yongde County.
(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: Samadu, Western
People Name General: Samadu, Western
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114301
Joshua Project People ID: 18675
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 9,800
Population all Countries: 9,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Samadu, Western
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (9,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
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: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1874-1983
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsChrist for the Nations
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Traditional (FCBH ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoChanged Lives (
Film / VideoCreation to Christ (
Film / VideoFathers Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoLight of Revelation (
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoOpen the Doors See the Mountains (Indigi ...
Film / VideoPath to Truth and Life (
Film / VideoStory of Hope (
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video: View in Chinese, Mandari ...
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralChinese Blog about Unreached Peoples
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Ed ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Editi ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Tr ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Samadu, Western in China

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

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