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Mongour in China


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Mongour in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
52,000 Tu Buddhism 0.03 % 0.00 % No   

Mongour in China

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Although the Mongour have been officially included as part of the Tu nationality, they speak a very different language and possess a separate identity from the Tu in other locations. As one researcher explains, "The Tu call themselves Mongol, except those living in Minhe, who form a minority, where the word is pronounced Mongour. This term has mistakenly been used by some Western scholars as the general name for all Tu."

When the ancestors of today's Tu and Mongour people first came to Qinghai, the area was occupied by Tibetans, Uygurs, and a group called the Shato. By the late 1300s, the Tu had divided into 16 clans. Eight clans were called Tu (White Mongol), five Shato, one Black Mongol, one Turkish (Uygur), and one Chinese.

The Mongour have several unique marriage customs. One is called "marriage to the pole" by which a girl stays with her family and takes in lovers. Any children born to her take her family's name. Another is the "marriage to the girdle" where a Mongour girl sleeps with a guest, who upon departure leaves his girdle behind. In case the girl becomes pregnant, she would be "married to the girdle." During child delivery, the mother and baby stay confined to a room for one month. Men are barred from entry; only the closest female relatives are allowed to enter.

Two types of shamans are active among the Mongour. "White shamans" are used to heal sickness, while "black shamans" bring vengeance on enemies. Another highly regarded religious figure is the kurtain. This is a person who allows himself to be possessed by an evil Daoist spirit.

By the 1920s Catholic missionaries were active in the Mongour region, but no church remains today. Most Mongour can read. Missionary Frank Laubach issued a warning to the Church in the 1930s: "Millions in China will soon be reading. Are we going to give them reading matter? Will they be flooded with the message of Christ or with atheism? Will they read love or hate? This is the most stupendous, most arresting, most ominous fact, perhaps on this planet."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-23
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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:Thirty thousand speakers of the Mongour language were reported in a 1987 study. They primarily inhabit Minhe County in the eastern part of Qinghai Province. Minhe, formerly known as Shangchuankou, lies on the Huang Shui River. Minhe is situated east of the provincial capital Xining, a considerable distance from Huzhu County where the majority of the Tu people live.
(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: Mongour
People Name General: Mongour
Alternate People Names:
Minhe TuMongor
ROP3 Code: 114229
Joshua Project People ID: 18609
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 52,000
Population all Countries: 52,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mongolian
People Name General: Mongour
Ethnic Code: MSY41y
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tu (52,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mjg    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Minhe
Dialect Code:4946
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism70.00 % 
Christianity0.03 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions29.97 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic90.00 %
(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: 2017
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 Tu
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
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

Mongour in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mongolian     Asia, Northeast    
      Mongour China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Mongour in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Tu  
    All Religions                              

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