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Xiangcheng in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
14,000 Qiang, Northern Buddhism 0.01 % 0.01 % No No   

Xiangcheng in China

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The government has not recognized the Xiangcheng as an independent minority but has included them as part of the Tibetan nationality. "The Xiangcheng people identify themselves as the descendants of Tibetan, Naxi, and Subi people. ... In his southern expedition, Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) brought a great number of Subi people of Mongolian origin here to settle down in Xiangcheng. Ruins of ancient castles can still be found here."

For centuries the Xiangcheng area has remained virtually untouched - a remote outpost along the ancient caravan route that linked Yunnan with Tibet and Sichuan. One writer has noted, "Xiangcheng's geographic location provides a unique strategic location, which perhaps has also nurtured the firm character of the Xiangcheng people. Xiangcheng controls Zhongdian to the south, defends the ancient Yunnan-Tibet route in the west, and blocks the Sichuan-Tibet route from Batang to Dajianlu [now Kangding]. Since ancient times Xiangcheng has been contested by all strategists." When Joseph Rock visited in 1930, he found the Xiangcheng territory was ruled by Sashatimba, a bandit chief based at the Sangpiliang Monastery. "Other bandit chiefs assist Sashatimba to rule the land. Together they loot and rob and murder. They even go on journeys of many weeks to hold up caravans or loot peaceful settlements. No Chinese dares to enter the Hsiangcheng [Xiangcheng] territories."

The Xiangcheng build beautiful houses, which have white rocks on the roofs like those of the Qiang people. Xiangcheng homes are square-shaped, two stories, with colorful decorations around the window frames. They are very different from the houses of their neighbors, the Khampa.

The Xiangcheng are zealous believers in Tibetan Buddhism. Their beliefs form a large part of their identity as a people. There are numerous Buddhist temples and pagodas throughout the region.

The Xiangcheng are one of the most untouched people groups in China. Few - perhaps none - have ever heard of Jesus Christ. There are no Christian communities in the region and no gospel literature or recordings in their language. There has been no history of missionary work in the vicinity of this hidden location.

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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
Total Provinces on file:1
Location in Country:More than 11,000 people who inhabit a valley in and around the township of Xiangcheng in southwest Sichuan Province speak a distinct language and possess their own unique historical heritage. The region is extremely remote. One visitor described Xiangcheng: "The town looked magnificent. The solid residential houses were all built with big blocks of stone, but their windows tended to be very small, probably for the purpose of defense, in addition to keeping warm. We were told that in the old days, horse drivers were afraid of bandits here."
(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: Xiangcheng
People Name General: Xiangcheng
Alternate People Names:
PhyagphrengQagcheng Tibetan
ROP3 Code: 114354
Joshua Project People ID: 18719
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 14,000
Population all Countries: 14,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Xiangcheng
Ethnic Code: MSY50r
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Qiang, Northern (14,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cng    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism95.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions4.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious1.00 % 
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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
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

Xiangcheng in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibetan     Asia, Northeast    
      Xiangcheng China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Xiangcheng in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Qiang, Northern  
    All Religions                              

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