People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Naju in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Naju in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,900 Naxi Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Naju in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Although they have been officially included under the Naxi nationality, the Naju have a different name, language, and history from the Naxi in Yunnan, and the Naheng and Mosuo in Sichuan. The Naju actually prefer to call themselves Naru, but their alternative name is used in Operation China to avoid confusion with the unrelated Naru of northern Yunnan.

The Naju claim to have originated on the Tibetan Plateau. Between 800 and 1,000 years ago they migrated down from the plateau. Some stayed behind at Lugu Lake on today's Sichuan-Yunnan border where they gradually developed into the group now known as Mosuo. The majority continued farther south to Lijiang and became today's Naxi people. Some time later, a group of the Mosuo left their homeland at Lugu Lake and they developed into the presentday Naju group. For several hundred years the Naxi and Mosuo had their own kings who dominated other ethnic groups and controlled commerce throughout the region.

The whole western and southwestern part of Sichuan Province was formerly known as Xikang. It was a lawless and violent province where few outsiders dared to enter. Much of the murder and strife was the result of opium trade which flourished until Communist forces destroyed the poppy harvests in the early 1950s. Today most Naju live in poverty, growing vegetables and herding livestock.

Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religious adherence among the Naju. They were originally polytheists but were converted to Buddhism by the Tibetans at least several centuries ago. Mixed in with their beliefs is a strong fear of powerful spiritual deities that they believe dwell inside mountains. As a result of these beliefs the Naju spend much of their time, energy, and money on appeasing and placating the spirit world.

There is no record of missionary activity in Muli or Yanyuan counties prior to 1949. The geographic, linguistic, and cultural isolation of the Naju creates barriers to Christian outreach among them in the future. Perhaps a few believers live among the Lisu in southern Sichuan, but there is no record of any Christian activity among the needy Naju.

View Naju in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
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 1,500 people belonging to the Naju ethnic group live in a remote part of southern Sichuan Province. Their main community is located in the Guabie District of Yanyuan County. Others are found in the Bowa and Liewa districts of Muli County. The area is rarely visited by outsiders. Few roads connect the remote peoples of southern Sichuan who live in isolated mountain villages. The region is marked with great ethnic and linguistic diversity. Muli County contains people from the Chrame, Sichuan Mongol, Ersu, Nosu, and several other small ethnic groups.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Naju
People Name General: Naju
ROP3 Code: 114239
Joshua Project People ID: 18619
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,900
Population all Countries: 1,900
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Naju
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Naxi (1,900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): nxq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism95.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions5.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1932
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 / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Naxi
Film / VideoLife After the Earthquake
Film / VideoLife After the Earthquake
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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

Naju in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Naju China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Naju in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Naxi  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: