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Tajik, Sarikoli in China

Tajik, Sarikoli

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Tajik, Sarikoli in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
45,000 Sarikoli Islam 0.01 % 0.01 % No No   

Tajik, Sarikoli in China

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Introduction / History
The history of the Tajik dates back to the biblical time of Abraham. Around 1000 BC the first Persians started to forge a prominent place in history for themselves. The Old Testament records the Persians some 43 times, showing them to have a key role in God's redemptive plan. The Persian King Darius, mentioned in the sixth chapter of Daniel, today lends his name to the Tajik language called Dari in Tajikistan and Farsi in Afghanistan.

The Tajik nationality in China speaks two distinct languages: Sarikoli and Wakhi. The Tajik are probably the one group in China most unlike the Han Chinese. They are a Caucasian people with light skin. Many have green or blue eyes and fair hair. They speak a Persian (Iranian) language which is part of the Indo-European language group. The term Tajik is applied to various Iranian-speaking groups of Central Asia in differing ways.

Three quarters of China's Tajiks speak Sarikoli. It is described as "a language entirely different from the majority language spoken in Tajikistan." The Tajik in China do not have their own written script, but some use the Uygur orthography. The two Tajik languages in China are reportedly different enough that speakers from each group must use Uygur to communicate.

What are their lives like?
The Sarikoli Tajiks have lived in tribal and clan structures for centuries. Their homes are built with stone for protection against the extreme cold.

What are their beliefs?
The Tajiks are one of the few groups in China who adhere to the Shia sect of Islam. They do not have mosques. Instead, they meet in their homes once a week for prayer and worship. Before the arrival of Islam in the tenth century, most Tajiks were Christians, having been converted by Nestorian missionaries starting in the seventh century. The Apostolic Church of the East—which had eight million Christians throughout Asia—was destroyed, and all trace of Christianity disappeared.

The Tajik are one of the most unreached groups in China. In the 1920s a lone worker stated, "I am sorry to say that in accordance with my knowledge of conditions I cannot pretend this field to be ready for harvest, however, the need of sowing is utterly pressing. Workers intending to scatter the gospel seed in this country ought to know beforehand that their task is not to gather harvest in joy but to sow in tears." Although today there are more than 400 believers in Tajikistan, the Tajik Scriptures and JESUS Film are not understood by the Sarikoli Tajik in China, although gospel recordings are available in their language.

What are their needs?
The Sarikoli Tajiks people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.

Prayer Points
Pray for the spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray the Sarikoli Tajiks people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin 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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  Submit Update:
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:17 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:An estimated 33,000 speakers of the Sarikoli Tajik language live in China's far northwest corner, near the border with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan. The majority live in and around the town of Taxkorgan, which means 'stone fortress'. Although there are more than eight million Tajiks scattered throughout Central Asia - the majority being in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - the Sarikoli Tajik in China are a separate ethnolinguistic group from the Central Asian Tajik.
(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: Tajik, Sarikoli
People Name General: Tajik, Sarikoli
Alternate People Names:
Chinese TajikPersian
ROP3 Code: 114322
Joshua Project People ID: 18692
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 45,000
Population all Countries: 45,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Tajik
People Name General: Tajik, Sarikoli
Ethnic Code: CNT24g
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sarikoli
Language Code (ISO): srh    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Tajik (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Shia
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.99 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
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

Tajik, Sarikoli in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tajik     Asia, Northeast    
      Tajik, Sarikoli China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tajik, Sarikoli in China          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Sarikoli  
    All Religions                              

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