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Akha in China


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Akha in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
262,000 Akha Ethnic Religions 0.35 % 0.31 %   

Akha in China

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The colorful Akha - called Aini by the Chinese - have their historical origins in southern China. The government considers them part of the Hani nationality, which is a collection of more than a dozen distinct ethnic groups. The Akha themselves consist of "five distinct branches," and possess their own unique customs, culture, language, and dress.

Most scholars agree that the Akha were originally of Tibetan origin. The Akha have a detailed creation epic poem. Long recitations, committed to memory and handed down from parents to children, are essential for continuing the Akha culture. Among the Akha, it is important for a man to be able to memorize his complete genealogy right back to the first man, Sm Mi O. To be unable to do so is considered a disgrace. The Akha genealogy now covers more than 60 generations.

Despite being some of the poorest people in southern China, Akha women have a striking appearance. They wear heavily decorated headdresses and skirts. Made from beaten silver, Indian rupee coins, fur, beads, and feathered tassels, the Akha headdress is removed only for the purpose of cleaning and washing their hair.

The Akha's religious philosophy, Akhazang (Akha-way), permeates every aspect of their lives and social structure. "Akhazang is a social and spiritual code that guides day-to-day living such as house-building, rice planting and relationships with one another and with other nationalities." The Akha believe in a supreme deity named Apoe Miyeh. They are also careful to appease the "Lord of Land and Water" who they believe is the spiritual ruler of each locality where they live.

In Myanmar and Thailand, the Akha have responded in large numbers to the Gospel, with as many as 60,000 Akha Christians reported in Myanmar alone. In China, however, only 500 to 600 Akha have believed. In recent years, one evangelist has planted 16 house churches. Missionaries first focused on the Akha in the 1910s but had little visible success. Recently, Akha believers from Myanmar have reached out to their cousins in China. The New Testament has been translated into Akha by missionaries in Myanmar, but the Akha in China cannot read the Roman script.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-04
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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:Approximately 400,000 Akha are scattered throughout Asia. About 150,000 of these are located in southern China's Yunnan Province. Today the majority of Akha live in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. In China the Akha primarily inhabit Xishuangbanna Prefecture, which has a lazy, slow-paced feel. The prefecture is home to approximately 30 ethnic groups, of which the Akha are one of the most visible.
(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: Akha
People Name General: Akha
Alternate People Names:
GuokeHà Nhì
KoKo Phen
ROP3 Code: 100185
Joshua Project People ID: 10223
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 262,000
Population all Countries: 680,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Hani
People Name General: Akha
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Akha (262,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ahk    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Asong
Dialect Code:6820
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.35 %(Evangelical: 0.31 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.65 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1939-1991
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2001-2002
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)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Akha
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Akha
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

Akha in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Hani     Asia, Northeast    
      Akha China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Akha in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Akha  
    All Religions                              

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