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Gepo, Western in China

Gepo, Western

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
8,500 Gepo Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Gepo, Western in China

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Introduction / History
The history of most of the people groups in northern and western Yunnan has been one of conflict, warfare, and bloodshed. Great battles were waged over land, with smaller groups like the Western Gepo invariably losing out to the stronger and more powerful alliances. As a result, many of the Yi groups in Yunnan have become more pacified than their wild counterparts in Sichuan and the adjoining parts of northern Yunnan.

The Western Gepo are one of approximately 120 distinct ethnic groups that have been combined to form the official Yi nationality in China. Although they use the same autonym, Gepo, as the Eastern Gepo people farther east in Yunnan Province, the two groups speak widely different languages. Local Chinese people call this group Baiyiren, "white-clad people." Gepo, in their own language, may mean "white people."

What are their lives like?
The Chinese themselves were often caught up in fighting between the different Yi groups. One traveler, who journeyed through the mountainous area near where the Western Gepo live, wrote, "As one travels further north the Lolos [Yi] become more numerous and more aggressive, until the Chinese are veritably besieged in their valley. We heard of nothing but the exploits of these brigands, who fall upon the valley, kill travelers, and pillage the inhabitants. All the villages are fortified, and posts occupied by peasants armed with pikes, tridents, sabers, and sometimes with indifferent flintlocks, are permanently established along the roadside."

What are their beliefs?
Today most Western Gepo lead quiet lives as hardworking agriculturists. They enjoy relatively good relations with their neighbors, even with the Nosu who used to force them to do menial labor.

The Western Gepo are among the most unreached people groups in northern Yunnan Province. They live in an unevangelized corridor, while many Lisu Christians live farther to the west and the Eastern Lipo and Naluo churches are situated to the east. These believers could potentially be mobilized to take the gospel to the Western Gepo and other unreached peoples in Heqing.

What are their needs?
Without the guidance of Christ, these people will be lost in this life and the life to come. They need someone to go to them as Christ-bearers.

Prayer Points
Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving, anointed workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:An estimated 6,500 Western Gepo live in many of the villages within the Liuhe District of Heqing County in the northern part of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The Western Gepo are located in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, not far from the main road between the tourist towns of Dali and Lijiang.
(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: Gepo, Western
People Name General: Gepo, Western
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114064
Joshua Project People ID: 18462
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 8,500
Population all Countries: 8,500
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Gepo, Western
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Gepo (8,500 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ygp    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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: 1913
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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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

Gepo, Western in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Gepo, Western China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Gepo, Western in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Gepo  
    All Religions                              

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