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Utsat in China


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Utsat in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
8,200 Tsat Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % Not available Not available   

Utsat in China

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The Utsat are known by a variety of names. The Chinese call them Huihui, a repetition of Hui - the generic term for Muslims in China. They call themselves Utsat or Tsat. Linguists in the past have called them Hainan Cham, in reference to their linguistic affiliation to the Cham people of Southeast Asia. The Utsat have been officially included as part of the Hui nationality in China, based solely on their adherence to Islam. The Utsat share no ethnic, historical, or linguistic relationship with the Hui. One writer comments, "It is unfortunate the [Utsat] have been assigned to this larger 'nationality', since the association is likely to discourage research directed specifically at this tiny group of Muslims."

German ethnographer Hans Stubel first "discovered" the Utsat people in 1930, but their history on Hainan Island is believed to date back to the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries, when they claim to have migrated by sea from present-day Vietnam or Cambodia. The Utsat still derive most of their income from fishing.

Utsat women wear traditional Muslim head coverings, except on special occasions when they wear a multicolored, flamboyant ethnic dress indicative of their unique origins. The southern part of Hainan Island is frequently lashed by severe typhoons. Much of the Utsat's time is spent recovering from the damage these storms cause. Fishing nets, boats, and homes are destroyed every year.

The Utsat were already Muslim by the time they arrived in China, and they have never wavered in their beliefs. They are the only Muslim community on Hainan Island. Muslim teachers from Malaysia have traveled to Hainan Island and taught the Qur'an to the Utsat since the mid-1980s. The Utsat do not eat pork, and they live in tightly structured communities.

Few Utsat have ever heard the gospel, and there has never been a single known Christian from among their group. They are considered resistant to change, since much of their identity as a people is strongly linked with their religion. The nearest vibrant Christian community to the Utsat are the Indonesians on Hainan Island. It is possible that audio gospel materials in the Cham language of Southeast Asia may be usable among the Utsat.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-26
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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 6,500 Utsat live on the southern tip of China's tropical Hainan Island. The majority live in the two large villages of Huihui and Huixin in the Yanglan District of Yaxian County, on the outskirts of Sanya City.
(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: Utsat
People Name General: Utsat
Alternate People Names:
Hainan ChamHuihui
ROP3 Code: 114341
Joshua Project People ID: 18707
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 8,200
Population all Countries: 8,200
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Malay
People Name General: Utsat
Ethnic Code: MSY44y
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tsat (8,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): huq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.90 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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: Questionable translation need
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Utsat in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Malay     Northeast Asia    
      Utsat China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Utsat in China          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Tsat  
    All Religions                              

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