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Yonzhi in China


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Yonzhi in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,200 Tibetan, Amdo Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Yonzhi in China

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Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
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The Yonzhi are a distinct ethnic group who live in a remote area that has changed little for hundreds of years. They are considered by some to be a part of the Golog, who in turn are officially counted as part of the Tibetan nationality in China.

For countless generations the Yonzhi have lived simple lives, unaffected by events in the rest of the world. Joseph Rock, the famous botanist and explorer, stumbled across the Yonzhi in 1929. He recalls, "The people were astonished at sight of our party. One asked, 'Why this array of arms and force when visiting our territory?' We continued up the valley to the very foot of Amnyi Druggu, the mountain god of the Yonzhi tribe. The last few tents we passed were cursed by some plague, the nomads said. The inmates lay dying outside, covered with yak-hair rugs."

The Yonzhi are nomadic, living in yak-hair tents and moving every few weeks to find new pastures for their yaks, sheep, and goats.

In addition to worshiping Amnyi Druggu, the Yonzhi's Mountain deity, the Yonzhi live in the vicinity of Anye Machen Mountain. They believe it contains a powerful god of the same name. He is often represented in pictures riding a white horse, with the sun and a rainbow to his right and the moon to his left. "All Tibetans worship Anye Machen; every monastery has either a picture or image of him. Anye means 'old man' and corresponds to our 'saint'. Ma means 'peacock' and chen 'great'."

The Yonzhi are one of the most unreachable people groups in China - if not all the world. Their region is snowbound for most of the year with temperatures plummeting to minus 40° Celsius (-40°F). The Yonzhi move around frequently, relocating their homes and herds to new pastures. Their communities are only accessible by foot or horseback. To the Yonzhi, the gospel remains untold. It is possible no Yonzhi has ever heard the name of Jesus Christ.

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The Amdo Tibetans
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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:More than 3,000 members of the Yonzhi tribe, a nomadic Tibetan people group, live in a virtually inaccessible area of eastern Qinghai Province. They primarily inhabit the Heha Chen Valley, near the town Tibetans call Cheb Chu. The Yonzhi area lies within Gonghe County, east of the Yellow River. The imposing Anye Machen Mountain range, considered sacred by all Tibetans, lies to the east of the Yonzhi tribe. The highest peak is the 6,282 meter (20,604 ft.) Machen Gangri. In the short summer months the area comes alive with flowers. "Red and blue poppies, bright, fresh, and unharmed, looked happily out of their bed of snow.… The scenery became more and more beautiful as we descended. The little meadows, clearings in the juniper forest, were full of flowers… out in all their glory." The Yonzhi share their homelands with many blue sheep, gazelles, and wolves.
(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: Yonzhi
People Name General: Yonzhi
ROP3 Code: 114366
Joshua Project People ID: 18731
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,200
Population all Countries: 4,200
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Yonzhi
Ethnic Code: MSY50r
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tibetan, Amdo (4,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): adx    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism60.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions40.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
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)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture / Portions
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tibetan, Amdo
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
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

Yonzhi in China

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

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