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Palyu in China


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Palyu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
16,000 Bolyu Ethnic Religions 6.30 % 0.50 % No No   

Palyu in China

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The Palyu have not been included under any nationality in China. They were included in a generic list of Undetermined Minorities in the Chinese census. Palyu is this group's self-name. The Chinese and neighboring peoples call them Lai.

Although the Palyu are proud of their ethnic identity and are eager to preserve their customs, their language is gradually fading out and the people are fast being assimilated into the Han Chinese culture. According to Paul Benedict, the traditional homeland of the Palyu was in southwest Guizhou and southern Yunnan provinces, where the Palyu have assimilated to the cultures and languages of Yi groups.

The Palyu home is made of wood and consists of two stories. The lower area is for animals, while the upper level is where the family sleeps.

The Palyu have never been exposed to Buddhism, which many of the Mon-Khmer groups in western Yunnan have embraced. Instead, they practice animism and ancestor worship, and are careful not to offend the spirits they believe protect their communities.

Western Guangxi is one of the most gospel-neglected areas in all of China. There are a few believers in the region but none known among the Palyu. Rev. W. H. Oldfield, writing in 1922, said, "From Liuchowfu [Liuzhou] one may travel for twelve days either northward or westward without seeing a Gospel chapel or entering a district in which a witness is being given to the Gospel ... the districts surrounding these busy centers contain a large number of mixed tribesmen. These people are shut away from the rest of the province by huge mountain ranges. The greater part of this territory has not even been entered by a Gospel worker. No missionary in our province as yet speaks their language. To reach these people with the Gospel has for years been our hope and aim."

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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 12,000 members of the Palyu tribe inhabit the farwestern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region - that section of Guangxi which juts out into Yunnan Province. The Palyu have been reported with vastly differing population figures. This is the result of linguists and anthropologists reporting according to their specific fields of interests. Most Palyu can no longer speak their language; they use the Chinese, Miao, or Yi languages spoken in the area. Linguists have reported figures of only 150, 500, and 800 speakers of Palyu. Foreign travelers are presently not permitted to visit western Guangxi.
(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: Palyu
People Name General: Palyu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 107801
Joshua Project People ID: 14281
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 16,000
Population all Countries: 16,000
Least-Reached: No
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Palyu
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bolyu (16,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ply    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Palyu
Dialect Code:15438
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity6.30 %(Evangelical: 0.50 %)
Ethnic Religions89.70 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
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: 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

Palyu in China

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

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