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Kyrgyz in China


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Kyrgyz in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
241,000 Kyrgyz Islam 0.20 % 0.18 %   

Kyrgyz in China

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In the 1950s the Kirgiz were granted status as one of China's official minority groups. The name Kirgiz means "44 lasses." The Kirgiz believe they are descended from 44 maidens. The Kirgiz in China still retain their tribal identities. "To this day one can distinguish the following tribes: Kipchak, Naiman, Taiyit, Kaisaik, Chongbash, Qielik, Kuqu, Salu, Salbash, Mengduzi, Mengguldar, Ketay, Buwu, and Sayak."

Kirgiz is a Turkic language. They used to have their own script, called the Yenisei script, until it was lost in the eighth century. No trace of it remains today. The Kirgiz language in China contains two dialects: Northern and Southern Kirgiz. Both dialects have the same vocabulary but employ different pronunciations.

In AD 751 the Chinese armies were defeated by the Arabs in a significant battle at Talas, in what is now Kyrgyzstan. One historian wrote, "This encounter was one of the most fateful battles in history. It marked the end of Chinese control over Central Asia. It also marked the beginning of Arab conquest of Central Asia. Soon the area was permanently converted to Islam." By the early 830s the Kirgiz had clashed with the Uygurs for control of Central Asia and defeated them. In 1944 the Chinese Nationalist government ordered the closure of many Kirgiz pasture lands, under the pretext of "border security." The Kirgiz, outraged at losing their livelihood, formed a government that gave birth to the Puli Revolution.

The Kirgiz have a famous epic, the Manas, that describes their past. The Manas is a virtual encyclopedia describing the customs, habits, and philosophies of the Kirgiz, as well as recording their struggle for independence and freedom. Most Kirgiz in China are involved with the production of carpets, horse gear, cloth, and wool.

In reality - although they are outwardly Muslims - most Kirgiz follow a form of shamanism and black magic, where power through seductive signs and wonders is exerted. Demonstrations of this evil power are often aired on public television in Kyrgyzstan. The Snake god, in particular, is held in great fear.

Swedish missionaries in Xinjiang listed 163 baptized believers by 1933, "mostly Uighers and Kirgiz, with some Chinese." In 1933 the missionaries were arrested and brought before Abdullah Khan, who "personally kicked and beat them. He threatened to kill them, claiming that their religious teaching was destroying the faith of many of his people." Most of the new Kirgiz believers were murdered. Those whose lives were spared were imprisoned for many years. There are just a few known believers among the Kirgiz in China today, although some ministries are focusing on them.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-11-11
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:17 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 140,000 Kirgiz were counted in the 1990 Chinese census. In addition, 2.23 million Kirgiz live in their new homeland, Kyrgyzstan. Others live in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and in a small refugee community in Turkey. In China, 80% of the Kirgiz are located in more than 20 counties within the Kizilsuu Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
(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: Kyrgyz
People Name General: Kyrgyz
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 105550
Joshua Project People ID: 12933
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 241,000
Population all Countries: 5,801,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Kyrgyz
People Name General: Kyrgyz
Ethnic Code: MSY41g
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kyrgyz
Language Code (ISO): kir    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Sunni
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.18 %)
Ethnic Religions4.99 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam94.81 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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]   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: 1982-2016
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1995-2011
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 (Global Recordings ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (Faith Comes By Hea ...
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoGreater Grace
Film / VideoGreater Grace (EngSub)
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kyrgyz
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralGospel resources links (Scripture Earth)
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file fro ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Kyrgyz in China

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

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