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Buriat, Chinese in China

Buriat, Chinese

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
169,000 Buriat, China Buddhism 1.00 % 0.90 % No No   

Buriat, Chinese in China

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The 1982 China language census listed 65,000 speakers of the Buriat language in China. In later censuses the Chinese authorities did not count the Buriat separately but included them under the Mongolian nationality. Large numbers of Buriat people also live in Russia and Mongolia but, because of historical and political influences, the Buriat in each country now speak different languages and should be considered three different groups from an ethnolinguistic standpoint. The Buriat in China are relatively recent arrivals, having migrated from Siberia to Inner Mongolia in 1917.

The Buriat in China inhabit grasslands in the Hulunbuir region of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. This remote area is located where the three nations of China, Russia and Mongolia meet. The Buriat originally consisted of several Mongolian people groups and clans who were recognized as five distinct tribes. The Buriat—who claim to be descended from either a grey bull or a white swan—still share many common traits and customs with the Mongols.

The Buriat language spoken in China is different from the Buriat in Mongolia and Russia. They reportedly 'speak a highly distinctive dialect of Mongolian'. The two main dialects of Buriat in China are known as New Bargu (47,000 speakers) and Old Bargu (14,000). Some sources suggest these two dialects are so different that they may represent distinct languages, but more research needs to be done.

The yokhor folk dance plays an important role in the lives of the Buriat. Young girls imitate the actions and movements of birds and animals. Most Buriat live in mud and wood houses, although some are still nomads.

Historically, most Buriat believed in shamanism, allowing mediums to control all interactions between the gods and their communities. To be a shaman, a person had to be seen to possess utkha, a mystical spiritual energy. In the 1500s, Buddhist missionaries from Tibet travelled into Mongolia and introduced Tibetan Buddhism. It soon grew in influence, and a mixture of Buddhist teachings and shamanist practices emerged. In the past century many Buriat in Russia and Mongolia became atheists under the Communist system, but a significant number of Buriat in China have continued to believe in Buddhism. A new religion called Burkanism has also appeared among them in recent years.

A few of the Buriat in China have recently become Christians, resulting from Chinese house church efforts originating in a revival in Heilongjiang Province. Just one city, Daqing, has more than 200,000 Chinese believers. They took responsibility for evangelizing westward into Inner Mongolia, boldly preaching the gospel and seeing thousands of people converted in many locations, including Hulun Buir. The new Buriat believers are hampered by a lack of Scriptures and other resources in their language.

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Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-30
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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:Nei Mongol Autonomous Region: Hulun-Buyr district, near Mongolia and Russia (Siberia) borders.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Buriat, Chinese
People Name General: Buriat, Chinese
Alternate People Names:
BarguBargu Buriat
Northern Mongolian
ROP3 Code: 115058
Joshua Project People ID: 19319
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 169,000
Population all Countries: 169,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mongolian
People Name General: Buriat, Chinese
Ethnic Code: MSY41y
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Buriat, China (169,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bxu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism69.10 % 
Christianity1.00 %(Evangelical: 0.90 %)
Ethnic Religions29.90 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
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
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: 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

Buriat, Chinese in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mongolian     Asia, Northeast    
      Buriat, Chinese China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Buriat, Chinese in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Buriat, China  
    All Religions                              

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