People-in-Country Profile

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

Lahu in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
315,000 Lahu Christianity 55.00 % 33.00 %   

Lahu in China

People Group Video [7]
Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The Lahu are one of China's 55 official minority groups. The name Lahu reportedly means "to roast tiger meat by fire," although others say the name has no particular meaning. Their skill as hunters has given them their nickname of Musso, which is used throughout Southeast Asia. Since 1890, when the Lahu surrendered their rebellion against their Yi and Tai landlords, they have been viewed as cowardly by other minority groups in Yunnan. An old Lahu man said, "Ever since the defeat, the Lahu lost heart and were despised by other groups."

The Lahu have a long history of war and armed conflict against their oppressors. They rebelled more than 20 times throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The region they occupied west of the Lancang River was branded "a place of constant riot."

Lahu women give birth in the privacy of their own rooms. Three days after the birth they invite old people to a small feast where a name is given to the child. However, if an unexpected visitor should come in the meantime, he or she is given the honor of naming the newborn. When a Lahu dies, three shots are fired into the air to scare away the spirits and to announce the news to the village. Lahu communities have long been plagued by stealing and rampant alcoholism. "It is common to see a group of Lahu drunk and beating their fists on the roadside and shouting as they are led homeward."

The Lahu believe in a supreme god named G'ui Sha. Many Lahu villages have a temple consecrated to this deity. This belief in One Supreme Being played a large part in their mass conversion to Christianity.

When American Baptist missionary William Young first preached the gospel to the Lahu in northern Burma in 1901, they exclaimed, "We as a people have been waiting for you for centuries. ... We even have meeting houses built in some of our villages in readiness of your coming." Many of the Lahu men wore strings on their wrists. They explained, "We Lahu have worn [strings] like these since time immemorial. They symbolize our bondage to evil spirits. You alone, as the messenger of G'ui Sha, may cut these manacles from our wrists - but only after you have brought the lost book of G'ui Sha to our very hearths!" Lahu tribesmen came all the way from China to hear Young preach. Six thousand Lahu were baptized in 1905 and 1906. Today there are between 35,000 and 50,000 Lahu Christians in China, "mostly concentrated in Banli, Mujia, Gengma and Menglian.

View Lahu in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-08
Prayer Links
The Jungles of Southern Yunnan
  Submit Update:
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 475,000 Lahu inhabit seven counties in the western part of Yunnan Province. Their villages are often situated on mountains at least 1,500 meters (4,920 ft.) above sea level. In addition, significant numbers of Lahu are located in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
(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: Lahu
People Name General: Lahu
Alternate People Names:
Black LahuKaixien
La HủLahuna
NamenRed Lahu
ROP3 Code: 105576
Joshua Project People ID: 12949
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 315,000
Population all Countries: 584,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Lahu
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Lahu (315,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lhu    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Shehleh
Dialect Code:12683
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Independent
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity55.00 %(Evangelical: 33.00 %)
Ethnic Religions40.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent60.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic40.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1924-1962
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1989
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)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Lahu
Text / Printed MatterBible: Lahu Bible
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
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

Lahu in China

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

Direct link: