Introduction / History
The Iu Mien have a long history of fleeing oppression. This explains why the Chinese sometimes call them the Guoshan (Crossing the Mountains) Yao. Linguist Herbert Purnell explains, "The Iu Mien have been profoundly influenced by the Chinese over many centuries of contact. Perhaps the most significant development from these contacts has been the evolution and preservation of Taoist rituals written in Chinese characters. The Iu Mien have therefore possessed for several centuries what many other Asian peoples only dream of—an extensive written literature."
Where are they located?
The Iu Mien originated in China, but some were hired to help the French and later the Americans, in their efforts to defeat the communists in Laos and Vietnam. After the communists took over Vietnam in 1975, many fled to Thailand. There is still a large population of them in Thailand today, and a larger population in the United States. Others fled to France, where they are most easily found in Paris.
What are their lives like?
Those who fled to France in the 20th century were most likely to be people of wealth and prestige. Adjusting to life in Europe was a setback for them, but they have adjusted in the last couple of decades.
What are their beliefs?
The Iu Mien are Taoist who also worship their ancestors. They believe Pan created the heavens and the earth. After the death of King Pan the feudal court allowed his descendants to worship and make a picture of him with human features.
Many of those who now live in France have adopted the secular worldview of the French.
What are their needs?
The Iu Mien need to see living Christianity in action. They need to know those who will love and obey the heavenly bridegroom. The church is very weak in France, and secularism is what most of them see.
* Pray for believers to help the Iu Mien to put their identity in Christ, the one who came to give us life to the full.
* Pray for the Iu Mien people to re-discover their culture, but allow it to be redeemed by the teachings of Jesus.
* Pray for Christian materials that are in the Iu Mien language to be eagerly embraced.
* Pray for a disciple making movement among the Iu Mien that will affect their people no matter where they now live.
Text source: Keith Carey