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Khik (Wakhi) in China

Khik (Wakhi)

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
14,000 Wakhi Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Khik (Wakhi) in China

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Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
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The Wakhi have been combined with the Sarikoli to form the official Tajik nationality in China, but the languages of the two groups are very different.

The Wakhi region in China was once the seat of the State of Hepant, which reached its peak of power between AD 420-589. A town in the southern part of Taxkorgan, called Kezikurgan (Princess Town), contained more than ten Buddhist temples - with a total of about 500 monks - centuries before the Wakhi were converted to Islam. In 1986, after 20 years of construction, the Karakoram Highway was opened, linking China with Pakistan and making contact between the Wakhi in the two countries possible after centuries of isolation. Marco Polo described the area when he passed through more than 700 years ago: "When the traveler leaves this place [Wakhan] he goes ... through mountains all the time, climbing so high that it is said to be the highest place in the world. ... No birds fly here because of the height and the cold. ... The inhabitants live very high up in the mountains. They are idolaters and utter savages, living entirely by the chase and dressed in the skins of beasts."

The Wakhi have a fond respect for eagles, who live in isolated and lonely mountains, much like themselves. The Wakhi live in extended-family households, with the oldest male serving as the head. With few exceptions, the Wakhi do not marry outside of their group. Before a wedding a price must be paid to the bride's family. The payment often includes livestock, clothing, and silver.

Although the Wakhi have been Shi'a Muslims for centuries, they have retained many animistic rituals. They rely heavily on amulets to ward off evil spirits. The amulets are small boxes worn around the neck, containing bits of paper that have been written on by a Pir (Muslim cleric).

Swedish missionaries were active in the southern Xinjiang region during the 1920s and 1930s. Although they won more than 200 Muslim converts, no Wakhi or Sarikoli Tajiks were included in that number. There are no known Wakhi Christians in China or in any of the other countries they inhabit today. Work has recently begun in Moscow to translate the Gospel of Luke into the Wakhi language.

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The Wakhi
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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:The Wakhi live on both sides of China's remote border with Pakistan. Other Wakhi are located in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the 9,900 Wakhi comprise about one-fourth of the total Tajik population. They are concentrated around the town of Daftar and also in the mountains south of Pishan. In northern Pakistan the Wakhi inhabit the Khunjerab Valley. Khunjerab means "valley of blood," a reference to the gangs of local bandits who for centuries plundered caravans and traders passing through the area.
(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: Khik (Wakhi)
People Name General: Khik (Wakhi)
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 103535
Joshua Project People ID: 18693
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 14,000
Population all Countries: 121,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Tajik
People Name General: Khik (Wakhi)
Ethnic Code: CNT24z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Wakhi (14,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): wbl    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Yasin
Dialect Code:18125
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Shia Imami Ismaili
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2001
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)
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Khik (Wakhi) in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tajik     Asia, Northeast    
      Khik (Wakhi) China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Khik (Wakhi) in China          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Wakhi  
    All Religions                              

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