People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Iu Mien in China

Iu Mien

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Iu Mien in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,291,000 Iu Mien Ethnic Religions 0.70 % 0.15 %   

Iu Mien in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Iu Mien have a long history of fleeing oppression. This explains why the Chinese sometimes call them the Guoshan (Crossing the Mountains) Yao. Linguist Herbert Purnell explains, "The Iu Mien have been profoundly influenced by the Chinese over many centuries of contact. Perhaps the most significant development from these contacts has been the evolution and preservation of Taoist rituals written in Chinese characters. The Iu Mien have therefore possessed for several centuries what many other Asian peoples only dream of, an extensive written literature."

The Iu Mien are the largest of the groups who form the official Yao nationality in China. This group calls themselves Iu Mien or simply Mien, but in China they are widely known by their Chinese name Pan Yao. Little was known about this isolated group until recent years.

The Iu Mien language is remarkably uniform considering the wide dispersion of its speakers. In 1987, Iu Mien able to speak their language numbered 692,000. The remainder now speak Chinese.

What are their lives like?
The Han Chinese call the Iu Mien Pan Yao after their legendary ancestor and pioneer of the Yao people, Pan Hu. Pan can be traced in historical Chinese records as far back as the fifth century AD. The Chronicles of the Later Han Dynasty ("Hou Han Shu") "tells the story of Pan Hu, the pet dog of Emperor Gao Xin (2435-2365 BC) who killed his lord's arch-enemy, General Wu, the chief of the Quan Rong tribe. The dog was rewarded by marrying a young princess." Their descendants, known as Pan Hu, became the forefathers of the Iu Mien. At some time the Imperial Court issued The King Ping's Charter. This proclamation was designed to reward the Yao by perpetually releasing them from paying taxes.

What are their beliefs?
The Iu Mien are Daoists who also worship their ancestors. They believe Pan created the heavens and the earth. "After the death of King Pan the feudal court allowed his descendants to worship and make a picture of him with human features."

Although one source estimates 10,000 Iu Mien/Yao Christians in China, the true number is probably much lower. In recent years, at least 1,000 "Red Head" Yao (an Iu Mien group) living in Jinping County, Yunnan Province, have come to Christ because of FEBC gospel radio broadcasts in their language.

What are their needs?
Without the guidance of Christ, these people will be lost in this life and the life to come. They need someone to go to them as Christ-bearers.

Prayer Points
Pray for the spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray that the Iu Mien people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

View Iu Mien in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-29
  Submit Update:
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:More than 980,000 Iu Mien live scattered across four provinces (and approximately 150 counties) of southern China. The majority are located in Guangxi, where the Iu Mien comprise 50% (615,000 people) of the total Yao population. Others are scattered in parts of Yunnan, Guizhou and Jiangxi provinces. An additional 400,000 Iu Mien live in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Iu Mien refugee communities are also found in several Western nations.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Iu Mien
People Name General: Iu Mien
Alternate People Names:
GuoshanGuoshan Yao
Highland YaoMan
MyenPan Yao
YaoYiu Mien
ROP3 Code: 104117
Joshua Project People ID: 12289
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,291,000
Population all Countries: 1,678,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Yao-Mien
People Name General: Iu Mien
Ethnic Code: MSY47b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Iu Mien
Language Code (ISO): ium    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Tai Hongjin (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.70 %(Evangelical: 0.15 %)
Ethnic Religions94.30 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1932-1996
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2007-2008
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 Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Iu Mien
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Iu Mien
Text / Printed MatterBible: Iu Mien
Text / Printed MatterBible: Iu Mien
Text / Printed MatterBible: Iu Mien
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Iu Mien in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Yao-Mien     Asia, Northeast    
      Iu Mien China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Iu Mien in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Iu Mien  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: