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Uyghur in China


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Uyghur in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,835,000 Uyghur Islam 0.01 % 0.01 %   

Uyghur in China

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Introduction / History
Before 1921 the various Turkic groups in Xinjiang called themselves by the name of the oasis near which they lived. When Turkic leaders met in Tashkent in 1921, they chose the name Uygur as the mark of their identity. Uygur means "unity" or "alliance."

Uygur is a Turkic language, related to Uzbek, Kazak, and Kirgiz. It also contains loanwords from Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Russian, and Mongolian.

Where are they located?
In the mid-eighth century the Uygur inhabited part of present-day Mongolia. Around AD 840 they were attacked from the north by the Kirgiz and fled southwest to their current homeland.

What are their lives like?
Many Uygur raise cotton, grapes, melons, and fruit trees through an ingenious irrigation system which pipes mountain water into the desert oases.

What are their beliefs?
Most Uygur follow a folk Islam mixed with superstition. Islam is stronger in southern Xinjiang than in the north. Today, although almost all Uygurs profess to be Muslims, few are aware of the time in history when the majority of Uygurs were Christians.

What are their needs?
Nestorian missionaries first appeared in China in 635 AD, after they had already been working in Central Asia for a century. One of the forerunners of today's Uygur were the Turkic Keirat tribe. By 1009, 200,000 Keirat had been baptized. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries "the whole tribe were considered Christian." It has recently been estimated there were as many as eight million Christians in Central Asia. In the fourteenth century Christianity disappeared from among the Uygur for 500 years, and they converted to Islam. The Swedish Missionary Society recommenced work among the Uygur in 1892. By the 1930s more than 300 Uygurs had been converted, primarily in Kashgar. When Abdullah Khan came to Yarkant in 1933 he expelled the missionaries and eliminated the Uygur believers in a mass execution. Abdullah claimed, "It is my duty, according to our law, to put you to death, because by your preaching you destroyed the faith of some of us." Despite the presence of many Han Christians in Xinjiang, few have a vision to reach the Uygurs. One visitor reported, "Many [church] leaders openly acknowledge, without guilt or shame, that they do not have such a burden for these people." One church elder, when asked about evangelizing Uygurs, "responded by shouting, 'You're crazy!'" Today about 50 known Uygur Christians meet in two small fellowships in China, although 400 Uygur believers have recently emerged in neighboring Kazakstan. Recent reports indicate that many Uygur in China may be on the verge of accepting Christ.

View Uyghur in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-22
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-11-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-04-21
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-05-09
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:3
Location in Country:More than ten million Uygurs live in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China. In 1876 Eastern Turkestan was invaded by the ruling Manchu army, and its name changed to Xinjiang, which means "new dominion." Since the 1950s millions of Chinese have migrated into Xinjiang and, by their sheer numbers, have put an end to the Uygur's hope for an independent homeland. Two thousand Uygur live in Hunan Province. In addition, approximately 20,000 Uygur have recently migrated to Guangzhou in southern China.
(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: Uyghur
People Name General: Uyghur
Alternate People Names:
Kashgar TurkiKashgar-Yarkand
ROP3 Code: 110469
Joshua Project People ID: 15755
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 11,835,000
Population all Countries: 12,303,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Uyghur
People Name General: Uyghur
Ethnic Code: MSY41z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Uyghur (11,835,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): uig    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Sunni
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.00 % 
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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1898-1995
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1950
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 ...
Audio RecordingsXush Hewer Uyghur audio Bible
Film / VideoBeware!
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Uyghur
Film / VideoMore Than Dreams-Ali
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: ھازىرقى زامام ئۇي ...
Text / Printed MatterMuqeddes Kitab
Text / Printed MatterUyghurche Muqeddes Kitab Jemiyiti
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Uyghur in China

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

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