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Sanie in China


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Sanie in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
8,900 Sanie Ethnic Religions 0.50 % 0.39 % No No   

Sanie in China

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The Sanie are one of 120 distinct ethnolinguistic people groups who have been combined by the Chinese authorities to form the Yi nationality. Although the Han Chinese refer to this people as White Yi or White Lolo, in their own language they refer to themselves only as Sanie.

Despite their similar names, the Sanie are not the same ethnic group, nor do they speak the same language, as the Sani or Samei. Long ago they may have been related.

Sanie customs are in the process of assimilation to the pervasive Han Chinese culture. In Xishan County, the Sanie, along with the Bai and Han, celebrate the Taiyinhui or "Moon Fair" on two occasions each year. The first celebration takes place on the sixth day of first lunar month. According to Jamin Pelkey, "Most of the participants in the festival are elderly women. Burning sticks of incense, they present various food offerings to the moon, and, after having arranged nine pieces of yellow paper in three small piles they get down on their knees and bow three times."

The Taiyinhui Festival reflects the main religious beliefs of the Sanie, which are a mixture of polytheism and ancestor worship. Pelkey continues: "Following this, passages of the Taiyangjing (the Moon's Scripture) are chanted in unison. In the passages, the moon is praised for all of its qualities and personified as a tender, nocturnal messenger blessing the earth with refreshing dew. The second celebration takes place in conjunction with the mid-Autumn Festival, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month."

There are believed to be a small number of Sanie Christians near Kunming. Before 1949 many Protestant and Catholic missionary organizations worked in Kunming City and surrounding areas. The majority of Sanie, however, have no awareness of the gospel or its life-giving message.

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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:A total of 25,300 Sanie people lived within Kunming Municipality in Yunnan Province in 1999. The Sanie inhabit most of Gufeng and Tuanjie districts in Xishan (West Mountains) County; parts of Fumin County; and parts of Qinglong District in northern Anning County.
(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: Sanie
People Name General: Sanie
Alternate People Names:
Bai LoloBaiyi
White Yi
ROP3 Code: 114305
Joshua Project People ID: 18679
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 8,900
Population all Countries: 8,900
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Sanie
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sanie (8,900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ysy    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.39 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.50 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent80.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Sanie in China

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

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