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Subei in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,011,000 Chinese, Mandarin Non-Religious 6.50 % 6.00 %   

Subei in China

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Although they are part of the Han Chinese nationality, the Subei - who are also called Jiangbei - have a distinct identity. The Subei are immigrants who came from northern (bei) Jiangsu (su). The Subei "are socially looked down upon and economically and educationally disadvantaged. ... The term 'Subei swine' is an extreme insult in the Shanghai dialect. The government recognizes them as Han, but they claim separate ethnicity and exhibit group solidarity. ... If you ask any one from Shanghai who they are, they'll probably know exactly who you're talking about and be willing to spread a whole lot of slander about how dirty and stupid these people are. The only reason they're dirty is because they're poor, and they're poor because they are uneducated and they are uneducated because they are discriminated against." Zhou Enlai, the Communist leader, was a Subei from Huai'an County.

Refugees from northern Jiangsu migrated into Shanghai in large numbers after floods in 1911 and 1921. The worst flood took place in 1931, resulting in 78,045 Subei people coming to Shanghai. Their numbers continued to grow. In 1946, nearly 59,000 Subei natives registered with the Committee for the Salvation of Subei Refugees.

To outsiders today, the Subei are largely indistinguishable from the other Chinese around them. Until recently Subei women wore "red and green silk clothes, embroidered shoes, pink or red stockings, and other brightly colored clothes." Even today, Shanghai women shun red cloth and often say to women wearing red, "You Subei person - that's ugly!" A 1986 study showed that 80% of Subei marry spouses of Subei origins. The Subei have a reputation for working in Shanghai's lowest and filthiest jobs, such as bathhouse attendants, barbers, and pig farmers. A 1958 study found 77% of the pedi-cab drivers in Shanghai were Subei people.

There are a few traces of Chinese traditional religious beliefs remaining among elderly Subei people, but most Subei under the age of 50 are atheists.

There are a significant number of Subei Christians in Shanghai. This city, which was the traditional port of arrival for missionaries, has received more gospel witness than most other parts of China. In 1996 Shanghai's more than 14 million inhabitants included 127,000 Protestants and 120,000 Catholics.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-01
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-13
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:The present population of the Subei people in Shanghai is almost impossible to measure, as the Chinese authorities do not count them as a separate people. The most recent population for the Subei was by Chinese scholar Xie Junmei who estimated 1,500,000 - or about one-fifth of Shanghai's population in 1949 - were Subei people. They were originally located in the central areas of the city, but were pushed out by the Wuspeaking Chinese during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
(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: Subei
People Name General: Subei
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114312
Joshua Project People ID: 18685
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 3,011,000
Population all Countries: 3,011,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Chinese
People Name General: Subei
Ethnic Code: MSY42a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (3,011,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Non-Religious
Major Religions:
Buddhism10.00 % 
Christianity6.50 %(Evangelical: 6.00 %)
Ethnic Religions22.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious61.50 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1874-2018
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
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoLove letter to you from scripture
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Subei in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Chinese     Asia, Northeast    
      Subei China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Subei in China          
      Religion Language  
      Non-Religious     Chinese, Mandarin  
    All Religions                              

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