Introduction / History The official classification of the Sanqiao people is extremely confusing. In the 1950s they applied for recognition as a distinct minority group, but their application was rejected. It appears that because some Sanqiao wear Dong clothing and have Dong customs, while others have been assimilated to the Miao culture, the authorities did not know how to classify the Sanqiao. In the 1982 census they were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities. In 1985 those Sanqiao people who lived near the Dong and who had adopted Dong customs were officially included in the Dong nationality, while those who lived near the Miao and showed characteristics of the Miao people were included under the Miao nationality. This division is not accepted by the Sanqiao who view themselves as a distinct group, different from both Miao and Dong. More research needs to be done to determine if the Sanqiao are related to the Mjuniang, who live in the same part of China and appear also to be partly absorbed into Miao and Dong culture. It may turn out that the Sanqiao are a subgroup of the Mjuniang, who have been profiled separately in Operation China.
The valleys of southeast Guizhou Province have seen numerous wars and interracial conflict over the centuries. Millions of Han Chinese have used this area to migrate from northern to southern China. As a result, there are numerous ethnic groups living among the mountains in this region.
What are their lives like? As previously mentioned, the Sanqiao have lost their own identity and now practice the customs of the people who live nearest to them. Some Sanqiao practice Dong customs while others have taken up the Miao way of life.
What are their beliefs? Although the Sanqiao do not consider themselves to be a particularly religious people, they do worship their ancestors and hold ceremonies to appease local spirits on a few occasions throughout the year. Many Sanqiao youth are nonreligious.
We know very little about the status of Christianity among the Sanqiao, but their location is one of the more gospel-neglected parts of southern China. Few missionaries ever ventured into the mountains of southeast Guizhou prior to 1949.
What are their needs? The Sanqiao people need to accept the warm embrace of the only Savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives.
Prayer Points Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.
Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
It is estimated that more than 5,000 Sanqiao people live in the southeastern part of Guizhou Province, possibly in Liping County. The Sanqiao area is near the juncture of Guizhou and Hunan provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Source: Operation China, 2000)