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Li, Meifu in China

Li, Meifu

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Li, Meifu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
55,000 Hlai Ethnic Religions 0.10 % 0.03 % No   

Li, Meifu in China

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The Meifu are one of five different tribes that have been combined to form the official Li nationality in China.

The Li are believed to have once been part of the great Yue race which splintered to become today's Li, Zhuang, Bouyei, Shui, Dong, and Dai minority groups. In the sixth century AD, Madame Xian, a political leader of the Yues in southern China, pledged allegiance to the Sui Dynasty This opened up Hainan Island to Chinese rule for the first time in history. The fact that the Meifu refer to themselves as "the Han people below" suggests that they may have been descended from Chinese migrants over the centuries, who intermingled with the Li and formed their own language.

In the past the Li lived in simple straw huts designed to withstand the many typhoons that strike the island every year. They dug a pit in the ground, placed bamboo or wood poles over it to form an oblong frame, and covered it with straw. The result was a low-lying structure that resembled an overturned boat. As part of a Li wedding ceremony, the bride's family must kiss a pig and two fowls. The bride's eldest brother remains her legal guardian after the marriage.

The Meifu Li traditionally believed in the existence of ghosts and devils, but now only the elderly practice spirit appeasement. The younger generation, having been educated in atheistic schools, rejects all such practices as foolish superstition.

There are no known churches or Christians among the Meifu Li. Although many people on Hainan have come to Christ in recent years - the total number of believers has grown to approximately 70,000 - the majority of the converts are among the different Han Chinese language groups in the northern part of the island.

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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:The 1987 Language Atlas of China listed a population of 30,000 speakers of the Meifu Li language. The majority live along the western banks of the Changhua River in parts of the Cheyi and Dongfang counties. In the past the inhabitants of Hainan Island were decimated by disease, especially malignant malaria which wiped out whole villages. Minority populations grew little over the centuries and, in some areas, even declined. With the introduction of modern medicine, the Li people are experiencing rapid growth. The population of the Meifu Li is expected to rise to more than 41,000 by the year 2000, and 53,000 by 2010.
(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: Li, Meifu
People Name General: Li, Meifu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114169
Joshua Project People ID: 18552
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 55,000
Population all Countries: 55,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Li
People Name General: Li, Meifu
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Hlai (55,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lic    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Meifu
Dialect Code:10652
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.10 %(Evangelical: 0.03 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.90 % 
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: 2015
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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Hlai
Film / VideoStory of Hope
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Li, Meifu in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Li     Asia, Northeast    
      Li, Meifu China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Li, Meifu in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Hlai  
    All Religions                              

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