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Nasu, Eastern in China

Nasu, Eastern

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Nasu, Eastern in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
276,000 Yi, Wuding-Luquan Ethnic Religions 35.00 % 29.02 % No   

Nasu, Eastern in China

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The Nasu call themselves Nasu Puo. (Puo is an Yi word meaning "tribe" or "nationality.") Their name means "black people." In the past the Chinese called the Nasu Gani, which means "dry Yi." Early missionaries called this group Gani or Kopu.

Eastern Nasu - which has 24 vowels - is part of the Eastern Yi group of Tibeto-Burman. Nasu has an ancient script which can only be read by bimos (shamans).

For centuries - until the advent of Communism in 1949 - the Eastern Nasu captured slaves from among the Eastern Lipo and other ethnic groups in the region.

Prior to their conversion to Christianity, the Eastern Nasu carried around small baskets which they believed contained the souls of their ancestors. In 1909 Australian missionary Arthur G. Nicholls first contacted the Eastern Nasu. He reported, "These people are very drunken and immoral. We asked them if they were willing to throw away the baskets in which they profess to keep the spirits of their ancestors, and six families thereupon burnt their spirit baskets and other articles used in their dealings with demons."

The Eastern Nasu were trapped in a neverending cycle of spirit appeasement until they turned to Christ. At the beginning, comprehension of their new religion was slow. It was reported: "They understand very little of Christian doctrine. But they understand that Christianity means no whisky and clean living. But when men and women are willing to take the spirit baskets their tribe has venerated for ages, and utensils used in demonolatry, and make a bonfire for them, it may be inferred that interest has deepened into conviction and conversion. Over all this region the Sun of Righteousness is rising, and the people are turning to the light."

By 1914 a few Eastern Nasu churches had been established in Salowu, but the missionaries were stretched to the limit. "We are at our wits' end for workers. The work is pitifully undermanned." In response, the Lisu and AHmao churches sent evangelists to the Eastern Nasu. The four Gospels were translated into Eastern Nasu in 1913, using the script invented by missionary Samuel Pollard. By the 1940s the Eastern Nasu church was being "used of God not only in evangelizing their own districts but also in sending missionaries to seek out and find untouched sections of their tribe in dangerous and far-distant territories. Magnanimously they have given out of overwhelming poverty so that many evangelistic journeys could be taken, and the number of families won to the Lord are counted in the hundreds." Today there are about 120,000 believers and hundreds of churches among the Eastern Nasu.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-07-23
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 400,000 Eastern Nasu live in northern Yunnan Province, especially in Wuding, Luquan, Xundian, and Dongchuan counties. They also spill across into Huili and Huidong counties in the southern part of Sichuan Province.
(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: Nasu, Eastern
People Name General: Nasu, Eastern
Alternate People Names:
Black YiGan Yi
GopuHei Yi
ROP3 Code: 114245
Joshua Project People ID: 18625
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 276,000
Population all Countries: 276,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Nasu, Eastern
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yi, Wuding-Luquan (276,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ywq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity35.00 %(Evangelical: 29.02 %)
Ethnic Religions63.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious2.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1923
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2016
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 Yi, Wuding-Luquan
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Nasu, Eastern in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Nasu, Eastern China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Nasu, Eastern in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Yi, Wuding-Luquan  
    All Religions                              

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