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Wopu in China


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Wopu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,000 Nasu, Wusa Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Wopu in China

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Introduction / History
Being one of numerous subgroups of the official Yi nationality in China, the Wopu are commonly called Da Hei Yi (Big Black Yi) by their Chinese neighbors. In this regard they are similar to the Da Hei Neisu, although the two groups speak different languages.

The Wopu were formerly slave-owners and landlords. Considered the highest class of Yi people, they inherited the privilege to keep slaves and could demand free labor on their lands by force.

What are their lives like?
Like other Yi groups in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan provinces, the Wopu have "emerged from a slavery society in which they were the infamous landlords and slave-owners; and just as the Liangshan Nosu [in Sichuan], this society of 'Black People' evidently had structured a multi-tiered class system - four castes to be exact. The top ruling classes were both termed 'Black' while the bottom two were referred to as 'White'. Although their counterparts in Sichuan emerged from the slave system as late as the 1950s, this people seem to have begun slowly adopting new ways hundreds of years ago. ... Although the slaves of this system - the Gepo - seem to have spoken the same language, the ruling castes felt it important to distinguish themselves by using two different dialects."

What are their beliefs?
The religious beliefs of the Wopu appear to be a combination of spirit worship, black magic, and ancestor worship. The center of a Wopu home is the kitchen fire-pit. They believe a "spirit of the kitchen" resides there. They also appease the spirit of the village, house, mountains, rivers, and forest. Some elements of Daoism, which have been absorbed from the Chinese, are also present.

Unlike many of their Yi counterparts in northwest Guizhou, most of the Wopu have never received a witness of the gospel. They remain an unreached people group. Having been forced to give up their former identity as slaveholders, the Wopu are facing something of an identity crisis and may be open to the claims of Christ at the present time. Their remote location, distinct language, and small numbers have contributed to a lack of interest in their evangelization.

What are their needs?
The Wopu 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.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-07-20
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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:More than 3,000 members of the Wopu ethnic group live in Xingyi County of Guizhou Province and in adjacent areas of Luoping County of Yunnan Province. Although the specific location of the Wopu in Guizhou is uncertain, in Yunnan they are known to inhabit the Dayiben, Jiudaogou, and Jigu villages within the Magai District; and Satuge Village of Agang District in Luoping County. According to the 1990 census, there were a total of 7,337 Yi people in Xingyi County of Guizhou Province. This figure includes the Wopu. There may also be a small number of Wopu living in the western extremity of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
(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: Wopu
People Name General: Wopu
Alternate People Names:
Big Black YiDa Hei Yi
ROP3 Code: 114347
Joshua Project People ID: 18712
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,000
Population all Countries: 4,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Wopu
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Nasu, Wusa (4,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yig    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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
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
Ministry Activity
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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

Wopu in China

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

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