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Derung in Myanmar (Burma)


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
200 Drung Christianity 56.00 % 29.00 % No No   

Derung in Myanmar (Burma)

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The Derung are the fifth smallest of China's 55 official minority groups. Their self-name is Turung which the Chinese have transliterated as Derung. A visitor in the 1920s described them as "a primitive, harmless jungle people who live in trees like monkeys." The Derung and Nu claim they were once brothers who were separated and forced to live on different sides of the river.

Before 1949 there were 15 patriarchal clans called nile among the Derung. Each nile consisted of several family communes. Each commune possessed its own territory which was marked off by boundaries such as streams and mountain ridges. Each clan was further divided into keeng - villages where people lived in common long houses. The members of each ke-eng regarded themselves as descended from the same ancestor. The Derung gained notoriety for defeating a British military expedition in 1913.

The Derung are one of the most remote groups in China. There are no roads to their villages, many of which are only accessible by several days' walk over treacherous trails. The Derung wear their hair down to their eyebrows in the front. Until recently, Derung girls tattooed their faces at the onset of puberty with designs according to their respective clans. The dead are buried in hollow logs, except when death is the result of a major disease. Then the corpse is cremated and the ashes disposed of in the river.

In the past, each Derung clan had its own shaman who directed warfare and healed the sick. Modern health clinics have put the shamans out of business.

The first missionary among the Derung was a French Catholic priest in 1907. In 1935 the Morse family came to the Derung area. People from four villages accepted Christ and six churches were built. Through the work of the Morse family, almost the entire Rawang tribe in Myanmar was converted. Today the number of believers among the Derung in China is uncertain. One source states, "Some estimate that there are as many as 5,000 Derung Christians in China (85.97%) while 25% Christian (about 1,450) is estimated by one Western worker close to the situation."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-26
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Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:19 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Derung
People Name General: Derung
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 110266
Joshua Project People ID: 15628
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 200
Population all Countries: 15,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Derung
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Drung (200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): duu    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Nu River
Dialect Code:9417
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Protestant
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity56.00 %(Evangelical: 29.00 %)
Ethnic Religions44.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent15.00 %
Protestant80.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic5.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Derung in Myanmar (Burma)

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Southeast    
      Derung Myanmar (Burma)    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Derung in Myanmar (Burma)          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Drung  
    All Religions                              

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