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Lopi, Shuitian in China

Lopi, Shuitian

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Lopi, Shuitian in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
20,000 Chinese, Mandarin Non-Religious 0.70 % 0.33 %   

Lopi, Shuitian in China

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The Chinese authorities have counted the Lopi as part of the huge Yi nationality who, in 1945, were found to be a collection of 93 different tribes. This classification, however, has angered the Lopi who "do not even agree that they are Yi; they think of the Yi as mountain barbarians and have no wish to be associated with them; they are both puzzled and bitter that they have not won recognition as a separate minzu [nationality]. According to Harrell, the Han neighbors of the Lopi are aware of their claim of separate status, but "it is not much of an issue for them." The future of the Lopi as a distinct people is endangered. Harrell notes, "Their system of kinship terminology like their dress, their religion, and their language, is now identical with that of the Han; only their sense of self-identity and their official classification as members of a minority distinguish them from their Han neighbors." Lopi is the self-name of this group. The Chinese call them Shuitian, meaning "Watery fields people."

The Panzhihua area is a crossroads for many tribes and people groups. There are at least five kinds of Yi in the region, including the Eastern Lipo, Bai Yi, Nosu, and Michi who migrated from Guizhou. These groups are described as "all very different from each other."

The Chinese name for the Lopi, (Watery Fields People) indicates their occupation. They are primarily engaged in cultivating rice which they grow in irrigated fields. There are few distinct customs left among the Lopi, who have been gradually assimilated by the Han Chinese in much the same way as "stomach juices will treat a steak."

Most Lopi are nonreligious, although a few minor traces of animistic practices remain among the elderly Lopi in the mountains.

Although there are few known Christians among the Lopi today, the area around Panzhihua has a rich missions history. The Catholic Paris Foreign Missionary Society commenced work in the region as early as 1790. In 1802 Monseigneur de Philomeile reported that "the Lolos [Yi] wish to become Christians in groups." In five or six days he counted as many as 500 potential converts. In 1809 Monsieur Hamel baptized 74 adults in Huili, northeast of the Lopi area. The neighboring Eastern Lipo group has many Christians.

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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:More than 15,000 Lopi people live in small communities scattered throughout northern Yunnan and southern Sichuan. Anthropologist Stevan Harrell is the only scholar known to have researched the Lopi. He estimates between 2,000 and 3,000 Lopi live in Futian and Pingjiang districts, near Panzhihua in southern Sichuan Province. The large and polluted town of Panzhihua is an "iron, steel, vanadium and titanium mining complex built since 1965."
(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: Lopi, Shuitian
People Name General: Lopi, Shuitian
ROP3 Code: 114823
Joshua Project People ID: 19177
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 20,000
Population all Countries: 20,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Lopi, Shuitian
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (20,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Non-Religious
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.70 %(Evangelical: 0.33 %)
Ethnic Religions40.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious59.30 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent40.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic60.00 %
(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: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1823-2018
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 RecordingsChrist for the Nations
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Traditional (FCBH ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralChinese Blog about Unreached Peoples
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Ed ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Editi ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Tr ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Simplified )
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Traditional)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Lopi, Shuitian in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Lopi, Shuitian China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Lopi, Shuitian in China          
      Religion Language  
      Non-Religious     Chinese, Mandarin  
    All Religions                              

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