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Chesu in China


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Chesu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,700 Chesu Ethnic Religions 0.50 % 0.50 % No No   

Chesu in China

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The existence of the Chesu people has been mentioned in few Chinese publications and never in mission people group lists. The Chesu do not consider themselves part of the Yi nationality. The Han Chinese and other minorities in Chesu areas do not think of the Chesu as Yi either. Local people believe the "Chesu are Chesu, and Yi are Yi ... the Chesu speak the Chesu language, and the Yi speak the Yi language," as one elderly man remarked in northern Xinping County.

Originally the Chesu were part of a great Tibeto-Burman race, who were forced to migrate south to their present location under pressure from the advancing Han Chinese, beginning in the fourth century AD. The Han themselves had been forced to move south due to the disrupting influence of the wild barbarian invaders in the north. "Six or seven out of every ten gentry families joined the southward march. In many cases, entire clans including neighbors and servants left their homes and traveled hundreds of miles to establish new homes south of the Yangtze River." One writer notes the result of these massive Han migrations: "As this contact occurred, the non-Han peoples were pushed back by the Han into the mountains, usually much more barren than the fertile river valleys where they had been living."

The Chesu people living in Damidi District in Shuangbai County celebrate the annual Body-Wrinkle Dance Festival. It is held on two separate days, on the 24th day of the sixth lunar month and then on the 15th day of the seventh month. Participants dress up in panther costumes and mimic the movements of the panther. The festival remembers the time when large cats roamed the central Yunnan region, terrorizing the local inhabitants.

The Chesu offer sacrifices to animals such as panthers, bears, and tigers. They believe the spirits of these powerful animals can protect their communities from harm and disease.

The Chesu are one of the people groups most untouched by Christianity in China. Few Chesu have ever been evangelized, although in March 2000 a few Chesu came to Christ when visited by Chinese evangelists. The preachers reported the Chesu are very responsive and open, but that ministry to them is difficult because of the lack of Mandarin understood by the Chesu. They live in such remote areas that outsiders have failed in their bid to even locate the Chesu.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-07-30
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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:Approximately 6,600 members of the Chesu tribe inhabit the southern part of Shuangbai County in Chuxiong Prefecture and the adjacent northern part of Xinping County in Yuxi Prefecture. The Chesu population in Shuangbai actually fell from 2,769 in 19571 to 2,528 in 1986. Most Chesu villages are located in remote mountainous areas, deep within forests.
(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: Chesu
People Name General: Chesu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114025
Joshua Project People ID: 18429
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 3,700
Population all Countries: 3,700
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Chesu
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chesu (3,700 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ych    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.50 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.50 % 
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
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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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

Chesu in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Chesu China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Chesu in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Chesu  
    All Religions                              

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