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Achang in China


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Achang in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
34,000 Achang Ethnic Religions 7.00 % 7.00 % No   

Achang in China

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The Achang are one of 55 minorities officially recognized by China. In Myanmar the Achang, traditionally known as Mongsha, are culturally and historically linked to the Shan. There is speculation that the Achang were originally Zaiwa who moved east to their present location.

The Achang have a rich heritage of singing ballads and telling folk tales to each other. These stories are the main way Achang culture and history are passed down to children. The Achang claim to have once lived in a matriarchal society in northwestern Yunnan. After the Achang migrated to their present location, they began to rely more on farming and less on hunting to feed themselves. During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), the Achang were ruled by hereditary chiefs.

Achang women wear colorful skirts and wrap dark cloth high upon their heads. Traditionally, unmarried women tie their pigtails together on top of their heads. During an Achang funeral, a cloth ribbon, 10 to 20 meters (11 to 22 yds.) long, is attached to the coffin. A Buddhist monk is hired to walk in front of the procession holding the ribbon, which signifies the monk leading the soul of the deceased to the afterworld.

Although they are nominally Theravada Buddhist, the older generation of Achang exhibits many traits of polytheism and animism in their religious rituals and everyday lives. Most Achang homes have posters of deities and demons pasted on their walls. However, there are also some Christians in nearly every Achang village in China. The present generation, having been educated in atheistic schools, is gradually forsaking the religious practices of their parents.

A 1989 study reported that the Achang had "at least one known Christian". The situation appears to have improved rapidly; by 1992 the same source reported there was a church in nearly every Achang village in China. A strong, vibrant church also exists directly across the border among the Jingpo (Kachin), as well as among the Achang of Myanmar. Members of the new Achang church are often invited for training in northern Myanmar. The Achang New Testament was completed in 1992, using a script that was invented specifically for the Achang in Myanmar.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 30,000 Achang inhabit an area along the Yunnan-Myanmar border near the Chinese town of Ruili. The Achang share the southern end of the Gaoligong Mountains with about a dozen other colorful ethnic groups. An additional 1,700 Achang live in Myanmar's Shan State where they are mainly employed as seasonal laborers.
(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: Achang
People Name General: Achang
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 100038
Joshua Project People ID: 10146
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 34,000
Population all Countries: 73,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Achang
Ethnic Code: MSY50f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Achang (34,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): acn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism30.00 % 
Christianity7.00 %(Evangelical: 7.00 %)
Ethnic Religions55.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious8.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2010-2011
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
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Film / VideoGod's Story video
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed MatterBible: Achang
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Achang in China

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

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