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Khmu, Puman in China

Khmu, Puman

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Khmu, Puman in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
22,000 U Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Khmu, Puman in China

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The Puman have been included as part of the Bulang nationality in China, although one linguist notes that they are "not very closely related." The Puman are not the same as the Hu, who live in the same general vicinity and speak a similar language.

The Puman are part of the great Mon-Khmer race of Asia. Over the centuries, the Mon-Khmer splintered into numerous groups and today are spread as far as India's Nicobar Islands and Indonesia.

Traditionally the Puman cast lots every year before a statue of Buddha to determine where they should farm. Puman women adorn themselves with colorful head scarfs, often decorated with pieces of silver in the shape of shells or fish. This has baffled experts since their region is located far from the coast.

The Puman are devoted members of the Theravada sect of Buddhism. In southwest China the Buddhists have many stories regarding the coming of a Savior, a blessed one who fits the description of Jesus Christ in many respects. Missionary William Clifton Dodd, who traveled extensively throughout the region in the 1930s, was intrigued to learn of some of the characteristics of this Theravada Buddhist messiah: "His coming is to be preceded by a falling away from the practice of religion, morality, and righteousness. His forerunner shall level every mountain, exalt every valley, make crooked places straight, and rough places smooth. ... Only the pure in heart and life shall be able to see him. But those who see are to be delivered from the thralldom of rebirth. He is to be recognized by his pierced hand. And his religion shall be introduced from the south [Christianity came into southern Yunnan from Thailand], by a man with a white face and a long beard [a description that fits both Donald McGilvary and Dr. Wilson - the first missionaries to bring the gospel to Xishuangbanna]."

Despite their belief in a Savior, most Puman have yet to hear about Jesus Christ. Locked away in remote mountains and deep forests, few Christians have ever endeavored to take the gospel to them. Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China, stated, "This Bible is the one thing that can burn gates of brass and penetrate walls of rock. ... I can secretly translate and circulate this Book, with the confidence that its divine message will operate with divine power."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-23
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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:A 1988 source lists 3,000 speakers of the Puman language, which is also called U. Another source lists a much higher population of 12,000 Puman. The majority live west of the Lancang (Turbulent) River in Shuangjiang County in southern Yunnan Province. Several small Puman communities are scattered throughout other parts of southern Yunnan. Outside China, the Lancang River is known as the Mekong. The Mekong is the life-source for millions of people in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
(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: Khmu, Puman
People Name General: Khmu, Puman
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108170
Joshua Project People ID: 14473
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 22,000
Population all Countries: 22,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Khmu, Puman
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: U (22,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): uuu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Theravada
Major Religions:
Buddhism90.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions10.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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
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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
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

Khmu, Puman in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Northeast    
      Khmu, Puman China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Khmu, Puman in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     U  
    All Religions                              

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