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Amdo, Rtahu in China

Amdo, Rtahu

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
101,000 Tibetan, Amdo Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Amdo, Rtahu in China

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Of the four Amdo languages, the Rtahu language is used in the most southern part. Linguists have identified Rtahu as a variety of Amdo, but the Rtahu claim to culturally belong to the Khampa Tibetans. They have been officially counted as members of the Tibetan nationality in China - which numbered almost 4.6 million people in the 1990 census.

The Rtahu language seems to be transitional between Amdo and Khampa Tibetan; these two are reported to have about 70% lexical similarity. The Rtahu language contains two dialects: Braghgo and Tahu.

Padmasambhava, a Tibetan sage, gave the following prophecy in the eighth century: "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world and the Dharma will come to the land of the Red Man." In October 1950 the Chinese army invaded Tibet from Sichuan. Another garrison moved southward from Xinjiang into western Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama - who himself is an Amdo Tibetan - fled into India. From his base in Dharamsala, northern India, the Dalai Lama has continued to lobby for the liberation of his people.

Between 1913 and 1950 Tibet tried to assert its authority as a separate nation, with its own flag, passports, and currency. Tibetan passports were only accepted as legal documents by Great Britain, India, and the United States. A Tibetan stamp was printed in India in 1910, bearing the image of the Dalai Lama. "These were rejected by the Tibetans. The Dalai Lama could not be placed on a stamp as it might get trodden underfoot, which would bring dishonor to him. Besides, who was going to strike his head with a great metal franking hammer?"

All Rtahu Amdo Tibetans are fervent Tibetan Buddhists. No more than a handful have ever heard of the existence of Jesus Christ.

In the past, some mission agencies considered working among the Tibetans but found excuses easier than the hardships the workers would have had to endure. In 1922, Dr. A. Reeve Heber of the Moravian Mission in Ladakh was challenged to expand his work into Tibet. He responded, "When once the country has been opened to the missionaries, I do not think that we are in a very good position to enter it from any of our present stations. It is almost entirely inhabited by nomads among whom it would be very difficult to work."

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The Amdo Tibetans
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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:Approximately 70,000 Tibetans in northwest Sichuan Province speak the Rtahu Amdo language. They live primarily on grasslands along the banks of the turbulent Xianshui River in Dawu and Luhuo counties. These two counties form part of the huge Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture which is home primarily to the fierce Khampa Tibetans.
(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: Amdo, Rtahu
People Name General: Amdo, Rtahu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 113988
Joshua Project People ID: 18395
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 101,000
Population all Countries: 101,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Amdo, Rtahu
Ethnic Code: MSY50r
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tibetan, Amdo (101,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): adx    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Rtahu
Dialect Code:6957
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism100.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
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
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Bible Portions: Yes
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 Scripture / Portions
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tibetan, Amdo
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Amdo, Rtahu in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibetan     Asia, Northeast    
      Amdo, Rtahu China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Amdo, Rtahu in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Tibetan, Amdo  
    All Religions                              

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