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Bai, Southern in China

Bai, Southern

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Bai, Southern in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
442,000 Bai, Southern Buddhism 2.80 % 2.80 % No   

Bai, Southern in China

People Group Video [7]
Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
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The Bai are one of the most heavily Sinicized of China's 55 official minorities. Although the Chinese acknowledge two separate branches of Bai — the Lemo and Nama — the Bai scarcely qualify as an ethnic minority. "During the 1940s… the Bai people denied their non-Chinese origin and would show offense if regarded as a minority." Various experts have commented, "The Bai like to be called Chinese." "The Bai nationality as an ethnic label was unknown to the Bai themselves until late 1958," and were "not quite a minority, but not quite Chinese either."

The Bai partly established the powerful, far-reaching Nanzhao Kingdom which was centered south of Dali. The kingdom grew so strong that they were able to defeat the Tang armies in the mid-700s. The kingdom flourished for 400 years until it collapsed in the tenth century and was replaced by the Kingdom of Dali. Dali, in turn, lasted until AD 1252 when it was overrun and destroyed by the all-conquering Mongol armies.

During the 30 centuries the Bai have inhabited Dali, they have gradually been assimilated to Chinese culture. Dali has always been famous for its prolific supply of marble, which gave the people their name (Bai means "white" in Chinese). Some of the marble used in the great Taj Mahal of India was obtained in Dali and transported over the Himalayas. A survey conducted in 1987 showed Dali Prefecture, mainly due to inbreeding, had 150,000 mentally and physically disabled inhabitants, including dwarfs.

The Bai are followers of Mahayana Buddhism, unlike other Buddhist groups in Yunnan such as the Tai Lu, Tai Mao, Wa, De'ang, and Bulang who are Theravada Buddhists.

George Clarke of the China Inland Mission was the first missionary to the Bai, arriving in 1881. Recent estimates of Bai Christians include figures of 20,000, 30,000, and 50,000. Most of the Bai believers live in rural areas in the mountains and in Fugong County to the west. Most Bai, however, have yet to receive an intelligible gospel witness. The words of John Kuhn 50 years ago remain true today, "No wide-spread work of evangelization will ever be done among them until the message is taken to them in the Minchia [Bai] tongue."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-10
Prayer Links
The Bai
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:23 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 1.5 million Bai were counted in the 1990 Chinese census. Yunnan was devastated by the plague, which began in Dali and lasted from 1812 to 1903. The population of Yunnan was reduced from eight million to three million, and the population of the Bai was severely cut. The Bai live primarily in the Dali Prefecture in central Yunnan. Dali has been continuously inhabited for 3,000 years. More than 120,000 Bai are located in Guizhou Province. Smaller numbers of Bai also live in Sichuan and Hunan provinces.
(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: Bai, Southern
People Name General: Bai, Southern
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 116833
Joshua Project People ID: 10573
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 442,000
Population all Countries: 442,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Bai, Southern
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bai, Southern (442,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bfs    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Mahayana
Major Religions:
Buddhism70.00 % 
Christianity2.80 %(Evangelical: 2.80 %)
Ethnic Religions10.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious17.20 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent100.00 %
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2015
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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)
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bai, Southern
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Bai, Southern in China

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

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