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Li, Ha in China

Li, Ha

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Li, Ha in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
709,000 Hlai Ethnic Religions 0.20 % 0.11 % No   

Li, Ha in China

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The Ha are the largest of the groups under the official Li nationality.

The Ha language is the lingua franca used by most of the Li on Hainan Island. It has three main dialects. A Roman orthography for the Li was created in 1957. Ha Li shares 30% lexical similarity with Northern Zhuang, 27% with Gelao, and 26% with Dong.

For centuries the Li rebelled against Chinese rule of Hainan. During World War II, the Li joined the Communists to fight the Japanese who had invaded the island in 1939. Hainan was considered a part of Guangdong until 1988, when it was granted status as a separate province.

Ha Li women in the past wore 56 huge earrings during festivals. One visitor described their appearance: "The ears of the Ha women were weighted down with silver and brass, and their ankles were circled with silver and gold bands. The women I saw did not cover their breasts. They were very coy and shy. The men were tall, many six feet, and wore their black or brown hair in big knots extending out about four inches from their foreheads. Many wore turbans of red, white, and blue through which they extended a big knot. They dressed in G-strings, and carried great knives in baskets at their backs."

The Ha Li god, Pa-Thung, "is a good god, and lives in some unknown place. But his agents, devils sent to watch the (Ha Li) villages, are ever present and always live in a nearby cave, in a river, in the jungle, or on a nearby mountain. The villages have paid priests, or witchdoctors, who complain to Pa-Thung when local devils spitefully send thunder, lightning, and rain or when they bring famine or sickness to the people."

Of the approximately 1,000 Li believers on Hainan Island, the majority are among the Ha Li. Many Li churches are filled with rampant heresies and cultic activities. One Christian visitor described a bizarre Li church service. "The leader drinks a cup of tea which has been blessed by the Holy Spirit and sprays it over the believers. Then they close their eyes and dance until they become exhausted and fall to the ground. The Li Christians lack familiarity with the Bible."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-26
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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 540,000 speakers of Ha Li are located in the western part of Hainan Island. The Ha Li live primarily in Ledong, Yaxian, and Dongfang counties, although they can also be found on the fringes of four other neighboring counties. Hainan was a hunter's paradise until recently, and even now a large number of wild animals can still be found in the more mountainous regions. In 1938 one visitor reported, "Hainan's wild-life includes two species of deer… porcupines, foxes, flying squirrels, monkeys, and pythons… there are also boars… leopards, black gibbons, and numerous birds such as parrots, pheasants, mynas, pigeons and doves."
(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: Li, Ha
People Name General: Li, Ha
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114167
Joshua Project People ID: 18550
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 709,000
Population all Countries: 709,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Li
People Name General: Li, Ha
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Hlai (709,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lic    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Ha
Dialect Code:10651
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.11 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.80 % 
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 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2015
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)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Hlai
Film / VideoStory of Hope
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

Li, Ha in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Li     Asia, Northeast    
      Li, Ha China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Li, Ha in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Hlai  
    All Religions                              

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