People-in-Country Profile

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

Sherpa in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Sherpa in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,200 Sherpa Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Sherpa in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The Sherpa in Tibet have been officially included as part of the Tibetan nationality. The Chinese are conducting an investigation to see if they should be classified as a distinct group. The name Sherpa means "eastern people." "They are distinguishable from Tibetans in part because their faces are smaller and they wear a colorful apron on their backside rather than the front."

It is believed that all Sherpa once lived in Tibet before their descendants migrated west in the fifteenth century. "At that time, a Mongol King attempted to force them to convert to his sect of Buddhism. The people fled to the Khumbu region. A Chinese account states, "They believe themselves to be descendants of Tibetans from the Kangba region in Sichuan Province. Many, many years ago, their ancestors, returning from a pilgrimage to Buddhist temples in India and Nepal, settled down here."

To many, the name Sherpa is irretrievably linked to the mystique of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. The first men to climb Mount Everest were New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Numerous Sherpa guides have since led foreign climbing teams up the world's highest peak. The Sherpa charge around US$2,000 per expedition, making them one of the wealthiest groups in Nepal. The Sherpa in China cremate their dead, as opposed to the Tibetans who practice wind burial. The Gyawa Festival takes place 49 days after the death of a loved one. The Sherpa eat as much food as they can during the festival, believing the food will nourish the loved one who has died.

The Sherpa are Tibetan Buddhists, although "with far less piety than the Tibetans. To have ... a Buddhist statue and to recite or chant scriptures is all they do by way of religious practice."

In 1985 a Sherpa boy in Nepal had a vision where he was visited by Jesus. The boy's conversion was followed by the gradual conversion of his extended family and several families in his village. The boy later went to Bible school and returned to pastor the local church in his village. There are reported to be a few dozen Christian Sherpas around the Mt. Everest region in Nepal. Despite this wonderful breakthrough, there are no known Sherpa Christians in China. They are politically and geographically isolated from contact with their counterparts in Nepal.

View Sherpa in all countries.

Prayer Links
  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:They inhabit both sides of the Himalayan Range. The majority live in India, primarily in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal and in the states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Quite a number live in Nepal, especially in the Solu Khumbu District and around the town of Namche Bazaar. A relative few live in Bhutan, while a very few inhabit Tibet, in Dinggye, Tingri and Zhangmu counties.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Sherpa
People Name General: Sherpa
Alternate People Names:
Sharpa BhotiaSherdukpen
ROP3 Code: 108938
Joshua Project People ID: 14906
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,200
Population all Countries: 152,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
People Name General: Sherpa
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Sherpa (1,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): xsr    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Solu
Dialect Code:673
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism98.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions2.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1975-2008
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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 RecordingsOnline Scripture / Portions
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Sherpa
Text / Printed MatterBible: कोन्छ्‌योकक ...
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

Sherpa in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Buddhist     Asia, Northeast    
      Sherpa China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Sherpa in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Sherpa  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: