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Jiarong, Sidabao in China

Jiarong, Sidabao

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
7,200 Lavrung Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Jiarong, Sidabao in China

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Although they have been officially included as part of the Tibetan nationality, Chinese scholars have considered the Jiarong distinct for several decades. In 1957 the Chinese Academy of Science listed a population of 70,000 Jiarong. One linguist notes, "The Jiarong are within the cultural orbit of Tibetan Buddhism but speak distinct languages."

Sidabao Jiarong is part of the Qiangic branch of Tibeto-Burman. There are two main dialects of Sidabao: Ribu and Caodeng. Ribu further divides into "several quite different local varieties, such as Shili in Zamtang County, Rongan in Aba County, Ribu proper and Dawei in Barkam County."

One Chinese source claims the Jiarong "are a branch of Tibetans who moved in remote antiquity from Qungbu in Tibet to live in the Songpan Plateau of northern Sichuan." Buddhism arrived in Tibet during the reign of King Songsten Gampo (c. AD 605-650). It officially replaced the Bon religion and gradually worked its way to the extremities of the Tibetan world, including the area inhabited by the Jiarong today.

The Jiarong are looked down upon by both the Chinese and the Tibetans. "Those Jiarong in the towns hold no more than low-level clerical jobs, as they are generally poorly educated."

There is a revival of the ancient Bon religion in recent years among the Jiarong. For the past 13 centuries, Buddhism has been something of a veneer on ancient Bon rituals. The spiritism and black magic, still prevalent in Tibetan Buddhism, stem from Bon.

The few attempts to evangelize the Jiarong in the past met with some success. In 1934 missionaries listed 34 Jiarong believers. Another book from the 1930s lists a number of Jiarong Christians, but presently there is no indication of any believers among them. "Social ostracism of possible converts, and persecution to the extent of the placing of severe curses by the lamas, or poisoning through family members, are other hindrances to spreading the Gospel."

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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:Approximately 5,500 Sidabao Jiarong live in an extremely remote and relatively widespread area of northwest Sichuan Province. "Most of its speakers live in the three townships of Caodeng, Kangshan and Ribu in the Sidabao District of Ma'erkang (Barkam) County, hence the language name Sidabao. Small outlying communities, however, exist both to the north in certain villages of Kehe and Rongan townships at the southwestern corner of Aba County, and, to the west, along the middle Doqu River between Wuyi and Shili townships in Zamtang County, spilling over even to a small area near the confluence of the Sertar and Doqu rivers in Sertar 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, Sidabao
People Name General: Jiarong, Sidabao
Alternate People Names:
SidabaoWestern Jiarong
Western Jyarung
ROP3 Code: 114122
Joshua Project People ID: 18510
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 7,200
Population all Countries: 7,200
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Jiarong, Sidabao
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Lavrung (7,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): jiq    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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Data Notes
Data Sources

Jiarong, Sidabao in China

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

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