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Riang in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,000 Riang Lang Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Riang in China

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The Riang, who have been officially counted as part of the De'ang nationality in China, have been known by several names in the past. The British mistakenly called them the Black Karen because of their appearance, but the Riang have no ethnolinguistic relationship with the Karen. The Riang are not related to the identically named Riang group in India and Bangladesh.

The Riang in Zhenkang County are the only De'ang group that retains features of the ancient clan and village commune system that used to prevail. In the past, Tai landlords controlled all the land in the area. Strict demarcation lines were clearly signposted between different villages and plots of land. Stone posts can still be seen today in the fields of Zhengkang. Traditionally the Riang and other De'ang groups believe their first ancestor, Phu Sawti, was hatched from a serpent's egg - the result of a union between a Naga (female serpent-god) and a spirit.

The Riang's belief in the above legend can be observed today in the dress of their women. "From their early teens, the women wear 40 or 50 cane hoops apiece, one resting upon another to a depth of a foot around their hips. The undulating movement when they walk resembles a snake's motion."

The Riang are the only De'ang group who have never embraced Theravada Buddhism. The majority of Riang today are animists. They believe spirits live in objects of nature and must be placated before peace can be experienced in their communities.

Missionaries worked among the Riang in Myanmar until they were expelled from the country in 1962. The Gospel of Mark was translated into Riang in 1950. Few members of this tribe have responded to the offer of salvation, however, and today there are no known churches among the Riang in either Myanmar or China.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:1
Location in Country:Yunnan province: Baoshan prefecture, Longyang county; Lincang prefecture, Zhenkang county.
(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: Riang
People Name General: Riang
Alternate People Names:
Black YangRiang-Lang
ROP3 Code: 108371
Joshua Project People ID: 14554
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 2,000
Population all Countries: 16,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Riang
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Riang Lang (2,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ril    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions97.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
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
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: 1950
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Riang in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Northeast    
      Riang China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Riang in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Riang Lang  
    All Religions                              

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