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Mo in China


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Mo in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
14,000 Mak Ethnic Religions 0.20 % 0.16 % No No   

Mo in China

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The Mo were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities in the 1982 census but were reclassified into the Bouyei nationality in 1985. The Mo are also known as the Mo Jia, Mak, and Ching, which may be the names of Mo clans. Most of the inhabitants of Jia Liang are surnamed Mo.

The Mo language - which has been described as "very close to Shui" - is also related to Yanghuang and Rao. It is part of the Dong-Shui branch of the Tai linguistic family. It contains five dialects: Mak, Ching, Chi, Hwa, and Lyo. Most Mo men are able to speak Mandarin, with a heavy local accent. Many can also speak Bouyei as a trade language. Most Mo women, however, cannot speak any Mandarin at all.

Because they do not possess a script, the exact history of the Mo is uncertain. From their language, it can be speculated that the Mo were originally part of the Shui, who migrated away from the main body of Shui several centuries ago.

Many of the Mo customs are the same as those of the Bouyei. When visiting a Mo home, "one may see cut-paper spells hanging in the doorway or in the windows. The door may have a mirror above it to reflect demons away or swords to pierce them if they try to enter."

The Mo are a very superstitious people. Many adhere to the Chinese religion of Daoism. Although they do not have their own temples, most Mo homes contain pictures of fierce Daoist deities. Posters are plastered to the doors and gates of their houses in a bid to scare off afflicting demons.

A Protestant mission station opened in Dushan County in 1895, but "the time of the missionaries was entirely given up to work among the Chinese." In 1995 a Hong Kong-based mission presented the gospel to the Mo and succeeded in winning several of them to Christ. The new converts immediately started a house church. About 30 Mo have reportedly become Christians in the years since then. These messengers of the gospel shared the great joy that many early pioneers found in presenting the message of eternal life to a people for the first time. One missionary wrote, "I know not whether anyone experiences emotion worthy to be compared with the thrill of joy which the missionary feels, when permitted for the first time to point out to a sin enslaved people the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-20
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-07-22
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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:A total of 12,822 Mo people were listed in a 1982 Chinese official publication. The majority are located in and around Jia Liang Township in the heart of Libo County in southern Guizhou Province, and in parts of Dushan County. The Mo live near the Maolan Karst Forest, where "karst formations are cut by beautiful waterfalls. The natural vegetation remains and there are plants that have survived from very early periods, retaining characteristics of plants and trees that are now extinct.… This conservation area supports musk deer, rhesus monkey and, it is claimed, tiger, ox, bear and leopard."
(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: Mo
People Name General: Mo
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114939
Joshua Project People ID: 19013
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 14,000
Population all Countries: 14,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tai
People Name General: Mo
Ethnic Code: MSY49a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Mak (14,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mkg    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Mo
Dialect Code:6088
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.16 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.80 % 
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]   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]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
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

Mo in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tai     Asia, Northeast    
      Mo China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Mo in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Mak  
    All Religions                              

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