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Bit in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
900 Bit Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Bit in China

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The identity of the Bit - who are called Buxin by the Chinese - is a complicated matter. The Chinese officially view the Bit as part of the Khmu, but the Khmu do not belong to any of China's official nationalities. They were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities in the 1990 national census. In Laos, the Bit were counted separately in the national census of 1995.

The Bit have ethnic relatives in both Laos and Vietnam, yet their language is distinct from the Khmu whom they are counted part of in China. The Khmu claim to be the original inhabitants of Laos, living there before they were driven from the best land by Lao invaders from China during the 12th and 13th century.

Funerals are elaborate affairs for the Bit. The deceased are buried in the mountains. A funeral house is constructed over the grave and is filled with the person's personal items such as a rice basket, drink pipe, bowls, and chopsticks. At the front of the grave a four-to-five-meter (13-16 ft.) pole is erected. A wooden bird and a shirt belonging to the deceased's wife or husband are attached to the top of the pole.

The Bit practice a mixture of Theravada Buddhism and animism. They believe a person has five souls. After death, one soul remains in the house; one goes to the fields; one settles in the foot of the tree that was felled to make the coffin; one lives in the funeral home; and the last remaining soul flies to the sky. Missionary William Clifton Dodd, who visited the Mengla area during the first three decades of the twentieth century, described the loose ties the inhabitants of the region feel to the Buddhist religion: "Buddhism presents a well organized front; and although we have yet to hear of any great mass movement of Buddhists into Christianity; yet it is true that Buddhism furnishes many preparations for Christianity. It includes a spirit of religious toleration. Its temples and monastery grounds are hospitable inns. In our tours of evangelistic itineration we habitually sleep in these temples, preach under the nose of the big Buddha, and sing our Christian songs in his ears. Often the abbot and the monks courteously join us in these services."

There are few if any Christian believers among the Bit in China or Laos, although there are many Christians among the related Khmu of northern Laos.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:In 1990 just 500 members of the Bit ethnic group were reportedly living in two villages in southern Yunnan province. Approximately three times that number inhabit the forests of northern Laos. The Bit are located within Mengla County in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.
(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: Bit
People Name General: Bit
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 101500
Joshua Project People ID: 10882
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 900
Population all Countries: 3,300
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Bit
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bit (900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bgk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism40.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions60.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
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]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Bit in China

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

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