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Xiandao in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
300 Achang Christianity 95.00 % 50.00 % No   

Xiandao in China

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The Xiandao are counted as part of the Achang nationality, but they claim they are not related. The Xiandao language is distinct from the three Achang dialects. The Xiandao may be the group described by one writer as a "Burmese tribe living in the Chinese Shan States ... spoken of as Lao-Mien, Old Burmese."

A recent interview with the Xiandao village leader recounts a bizarre history - no doubt a mixture of truth and legend: "A thousand years ago we numbered 400 people and were the richest tribe in the region. Then we had a fierce war with the De'ang. We lost and fled to the Huoyan Mountains on the Myanmar- China border. Slowly we filtered back into China. Because of the defeat we lost our wealth and have been poor to this day." They claim that after the war many died of disease. They "grew red lumps on their faces and died." It is uncertain what disease this is, but the Chinese authorities give regular vaccinations against it. More likely, the Xiandao are the descendants of one of the tribes who fled into China from Myanmar in 1885 to escape assaults by the British military.

The Xiandao live quiet lives cultivating the haoangong rice that grows in the area. In recent years almost all Xiandao youth have left their village to find work in the region's towns and cities. Many have gained employment in the logging industry. Because of their small numbers, the Xiandao have been forced to intermarry with Achang, Dai, Jingpo, and the Han Chinese. The Xiandao share their village with Han Chinese families. All Xiandao can also speak Mandarin.

Almost the entire Xiandao population are Christians. They were first evangelized by Jingpo believers from a nearby village in the mid-1970s, and embraced the gospel en masse.

The Xiandao have their own church in their village. The pastor is a Xiandao, even though they use the Jingpo Bible in their services. Of the 47 Xiandao left in Munmian Village, 46 are members of the church. The only one who is not is the village leader, who says that if he were a believer he would not be allowed to represent his people to the Communist government. In 1976 the leader's wife was one of the first Xiandao to be converted.

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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 tiny Xiandao tribe - who numbered only 136 people in 19971 - inhabit Munmian Village in western Yunnan Province. Of the 137 Xiandao people, only 47 still live in their village; the rest have traveled to cities to find employment. Even though the Xiandao live directly next to the Myanmar border, there is no evidence of any living outside of China. The Xiandao village is near Pingwyan Township in Yingjiang County in the Dehong Dai Autonomous Prefecture. More than a dozen colorful groups share the multiethnic Dehong Prefecture.
(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: Xiandao
People Name General: Xiandao
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114353
Joshua Project People ID: 18718
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 300
Population all Countries: 300
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Xiandao
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Achang (300 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): acn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Independent
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity95.00 %(Evangelical: 50.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2011
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)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Text / Printed MatterBible: Ngochang Common Language Bible
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Xiandao in China

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

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