| · Population 200,000 (approx.)
| · 95% Muslim
The Turkic nomadic tribes of Central Asia began settling in China during the 14th century. The third largest of these groups are called the Kyrgyz. The Kyrgyz live in the high mountain ranges and grassy plateau regions of the Xinjiang province of North West China. The Kyrgyz, a proud people whose name means “indestructible”, were once referred to as “uncivilized barbarians” by the Chinese.
Most Kyrgyz are nomadic pastoralists and live in felt tents called “yurts”. More recently numbers of Kyrgyz have moved into the cities. Approx. 1,500 live in the cities of Urumchi, Artush and Kashgar. Their occupation includes selling wool and making carpets. Kyrgyz women are particularly well known for their embroidery. Their culture is also rich with story telling and they regard the mountains as a God-given treasure to them.
Children are considered to be the real wealth to the Kyrgyz and even a rich herdsman who has no children is considered to be poor. Sadly, they have a high infant mortality rate of 50% and one in three mothers die during childbirth. Weddings are an important and elaborate social event.
The Kyrgyz Peoples Practices
One traditional practice is for the bride and groom to be tied together to a post by the bride’s family. They are only released after the groom’s family begs for mercy and presents a gift to the bride’s family.
Although most Kyrgyz are Muslims very few practice the orthodox Muslim rituals, such as praying five times a day. They only became Muslims 100 years ago. Most Kyrgyz women do not wear a veil. They legally have equal rights and are represented in the work force. However, ancestoral worship and shamanism is widely practiced. Their religion is mixed with many forms of anamistic folk practices in which they are bound by fear of evil spirits. They have also been strongly influenced by years of communism and atheism. Although Muslims are prohibited to drink alcohol, alcoholism among the Kyrgyz is widespread.
There are only a small number of Christians among them and there is no Kyrgyz church. Many Kyrgyz villages are closed to foreigners and their nomadic lifestyle restricts their access to the gospel. Those who do turn to Christ will almost certainly face great persecution and ostracism from their families.
Pray for the Kyrgyz Muslims in China:
* The Kyrgyz have been neglected and forgotten by the body of Christ, pray for workers to be sent. There are many ministry opportunities in the area of health care, community development and engineering. Pray for open doors and effective strategies to reach them.
* Pray that through Jesus they would know freedom from fear.
* Pray for a people movement and a culturally sensitive church to be birthed among the Kyrgyz.
Background on China (World Factbook)
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China’s sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
Economy of China
The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2006 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income and 130 million Chinese fall below international poverty lines. One demographic consequence of the “one child” policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment – notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the north. TThe government vows, in the 12th Five-Year Plan adopted in March 2011, to continue reforming the economy and emphasizes the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent on exports for GDP growth in the future.
Population: 1,343,239,923 (July 2012 est.) World rank #1
Life Expectancy at Birth: 74.84 years. World rank #97
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%
Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Literacy: 92.2% — Male: 96%, Female: 88.5%
School life expectancy: 12 years
Video: Love China
– history and interesting facts
A recent history of China and the Chinese church. This is a great video about the economic success of modern China versus the deep hurts of the Chinese people versus the amazing work God is doing in this fantastic country. GodTube video.
External Link: Mission /Ministry into China