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Fuma in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,100 Foma Ethnic Religions 2.60 % 2.33 % No No   

Fuma in China

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The Fuma have been officially counted as part of the Han Chinese nationality, even though they speak their own language and hold to their own identity. The Fuma are considered by some to be a subgroup of the Cun, but locals say the Fuma are a distinct people group. Cun means "village" and is a generic term applied to Chinese people living in western Hainan who speak languages related to Li.

Hainan Island has witnessed wave after wave of immigrants from the Chinese Mainland over the past 2,000 years. Most settled in the northern part of the island, forcing the original inhabitants of the island, the Li, southward and westward. Today most of northern Hainan is inhabited by Han Chinese and Lingao - members of a mixed race who speak a language resembling Zhuang. In the areas located near the boundaries between Chinese and Li culture, however, a great deal of fusion has taken place. Because of centuries of interaction between the Han and Li, people groups have been formed who are ethnically and historically Han Chinese but speak a Li language. The Fuma fall into this category. In other locations the fusion has occurred the other way around. Ethnic Li people can be found throughout Hainan who can speak only the Chinese language.

The Fuma have few customs that distinguish them as a people group. They do not wear any traditional dress and are some of the poorest people in all of China. For generations they have struggled to survive in their remote location.

Most Fuma do not practice an organized religion, although many have a deep reverence and respect for their ancestors.

In the mid-1990s a Hong Kong-based mission discovered the Fuma people and commenced evangelistic work among them. They found that the Fuma were sensitive people, willing to embrace God's truth. Several families immediately became Christians. The Fuma fit this 1920s description of China's tribal people: "The children of the hills are much more responsive than the sons of the Han. They are not so proud, not so reserved, not so phlegmatic. Their women and girls are free as are women and girls of Western lands. They are not secluded nor do they bind their feet. They are allowed to meet and to talk with the men, and there is no mock modesty amongst them."

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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:The Fuma are located in just one village north of the town of Changcheng in the western part of Hainan Island. Changcheng is about 50 kilometers (31 mi.) north of the city of Dongfang (formerly known as Basuo). The Fuma live on the very top of a mountain in the area. As a result of isolation, they have an independent mind-set.
(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: Fuma
People Name General: Fuma
Alternate People Names:
Fu Ma
ROP3 Code: 114055
Joshua Project People ID: 18455
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,100
Population all Countries: 1,100
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tai
People Name General: Fuma
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Foma (1,100 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): fom    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism10.00 % 
Christianity2.60 %(Evangelical: 2.33 %)
Ethnic Religions80.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious7.40 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
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

Fuma in China

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

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