The Yao Zhuang are China’s largest minority ethnic group and the largest people group without the Scriptures in their language.
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After W.W. II Communism took over. China covers an immense territory and has an extremely diverse climate, from tropical in the south to subarctic in the north. Its population is recorded as a staggering 1.3 billion as of July 2014. Located in the southeastern part of China in the Guanxi Province, our project will target a population of over 3 million in the area of Nan Ning.
The Yao Zhuang are China’s largest minority ethnic group and the largest people group without the Scriptures in their language. Most Zhuang follow a traditional animist faith known as Moism, which include elements of ancestor worship. The Zhuang have a rich tradition of written and unwritten stories and Zhuang folk stories often take the form of songs. Some of their handicrafts include bird totem hats, elephant trunk shoes, totem back carriers, cloth monkey medicine bags, embroidered balls, etc. In Southern China some hospitals have Zhuang Medicine departments where their own remedies are practiced. Related to the Thai, Zhuang dialects also form a language chain with similar dialects in northern Vietnam. Both Zhuang and Mandarin are spoken in the Guanxi area.
The liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ is needed in this animistic people group. However, not only will one face resistant religious traditions among these animistic people, but he/she must avoid scrutiny by the government authorities. Student visas are the most viable way to stay in China over a long period of time and one can study from the BA level up to the PhD level, obtaining enough language and culture to simultaneously church plant. Additionally, there are teaching positions available for ESL teachers as a means for meeting and reaching these people for Christ.