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Jiarong, Shangzhai in China

Jiarong, Shangzhai

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,200 sTodsde Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Jiarong, Shangzhai in China

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Shangzhai is one of five distinct languages of the Jiarong ethnic group in China (six if Ergong is included). The Jiarong, in turn, were officially placed under the Tibetan nationality by the Chinese authorities, even though their languages are far removed from Tibetan. There has been some talk in Chinese circles of further investigation being conducted to see if the Jiarong should be classified as a separate minority, but officials in Beijing believe the task of classifying minorities has been completed and will not consider any more applications.

Shangzhai Jiarong, and the other Jiarong languages, are members of the Qiangic branch of Tibeto-Burman. Jonathon Evans notes, "This language remains almost totally unrepresented in the available literature except for isolated words and sample paradigms in one source." Shangzhai seems closer to Ergong than to any other Jiarong languages. The internal diversity of Shangzhai is uncertain but its major local varieties, Dayili, Zongke and Puxi, appear to be quite distinct. The Dayili dialect was included in a survey of Qiangic languages in 1993.

The Shangzhai Jiarong are one of many people groups in the area who inhabit what has been labeled an "ethnic corridor." "This corridor, a borderland of Sino-Tibetan and Yi-Tibetan contact, has been an arena of political tug-ofwar. This is also the area where the so-called Qiang, Di, and Rong ethnic groups lived and thrived and where many local governments of varying power and duration have appeared This area should be fertile ground for exploration by historians as well as linguists."

Visually and culturally the Jiarong are similar to the Tibetans who live in the area. Today, the Jiarong dress identically to the Tibetans, eat the same food, and celebrate the same festivals.

Tibetan Buddhism and spirit appeasement dominate every aspect of the daily lives of the Shangzhai Jiarong.

The area inhabited by the Shangzhai Jiarong has been blocked off from Christian presence throughout its history. Lawless bandits, remote mountain ranges rising to 7,000 meters (23,000 ft.) above sea level, lack of roads, and the powerful influence of Tibetan Buddhism have prevented news of Jesus Christ from ever reaching the ears of the unreached Shangzhai Jiarong.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-19
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-21
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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:More than 4,000 speakers of the Shangzhai Jiarong language live in an isolated and sparsely populated part of northwest Sichuan Province. The area inhabited by the Shangzhai Jiarong was previously part of the Tibetan empire but was annexed by the Chinese and integrated into Sichuan Province. The Shangzhai Jiarong are located "near the confluence of the Doqu River and its tributary, the Zhongke River, in Shili, Zongke and Puxi townships of Shangzhai District, in southern Zamtang County."
(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: Jiarong, Shangzhai
People Name General: Jiarong, Shangzhai
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114121
Joshua Project People ID: 18509
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,200
Population all Countries: 5,200
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Jiarong, Shangzhai
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: sTodsde (5,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): jih    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism90.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions9.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious1.00 % 
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
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

Jiarong, Shangzhai in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibetan     Asia, Northeast    
      Jiarong, Shangzhai China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Jiarong, Shangzhai in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     sTodsde  
    All Religions                              

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