Lesu in China

The Lesu have only been reported in China
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Lesu were once named the Ma Long people, who were part of the Sou tribe dating back to the Han and Western Jin dynasties (220 BC - AD 316). "The Lesu entered Yuanjiang County during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had spread to Xinping and Shiping counties."

The government has included the Lesu as part of the Yi nationality in China, an artificially constructed classification that contains at least "several dozen branches" of different ethnic groups. Lesu or Leisu is the self-name of this group. The Chinese call them Shansu, meaning "mountain people." The Lesu who live west of the Gasa River in the Ailao Mountains of Mosha District reportedly no longer speak their mother tongue, having reverted to Chinese. Because of this, the people in the area call them Jia Shansu, meaning "fake Shansu."


What Are Their Lives Like?

There are two different sets of festivals celebrated by the Lesu of different areas. Those in Eshan, Xinping, and Shuangbai celebrate a festival called Traditional Flower Fair, while those in Yuanjiang celebrate a Mountain Sacrifice Festival. The Flower Fair of the first region is celebrated every 24th day of the sixth lunar month (the same day as the Torch Festival among the Nisu and Nasu) and repeated every 15th day of the seventh month of the Lunar calendar. The festival stems from an old legend in which a Han and a Lesu fell in love. Their parents strongly disagreed with the engagement, however. One night the couple went to the peak of Daxishan where they danced and sung. On that night the two committed suicide together. The festival is now held in their honor.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Lesu people greatly revere the Mountain god, but only those in Yuanjiang County hold a yearly day of sacrifice in order to appease him. On this day Lesu are forbidden to work in their fields for fear the mountain god will be offended.

The Lesu were a completely unevangelized and unreached people group until 1999, when a Lesu family, who helped record the first gospel recording in their language, gave their lives to Jesus Christ after considering the message.


What Are Their Needs?

Without the guidance of Christ, these people are like sheep without a shepherd. They need the good shepherd to guide and bless their families and communities.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.


Scripture Prayers for the Lesu in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2018/07/13

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2008/07/24


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-07-13
People Name General Lesu
People Name in Country Lesu
Pronunciation Leh-soo
Population this Country 20,000
Population all Countries 20,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Chesu; Leisu; Shanshu; Shansu
People ID 18546
ROP3 Code 114163
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 15,000 Lesu people live in dense mountain forests at least 2,300 meters (7,546 ft.) above sea level, in Xinping, Jinping, Zhenyuan, and Eshan counties of Yuxi Prefecture in southern Yunnan Province. A mere 37 Lesu reportedly live in Shaungbai County, and an additional 600 Lesu live in Shiping County of Honghe Prefecture.   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 15,000 Lesu people live in dense mountain forests at least 2,300 meters (7,546 ft.) above sea level, in Xinping, Jinping, Zhenyuan, and Eshan counties of Yuxi Prefecture in southern Yunnan Province. A mere 37 Lesu reportedly live in Shaungbai County, and an additional 600 Lesu live in Shiping County of Honghe Prefecture..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Primary Language Nisu, Eastern (20,000 speakers)
Language Code nos   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Nisu, Eastern (20,000 speakers)
Language Code nos   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Nisu, Eastern

Primary Language:  Nisu, Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1948)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.03 %)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
97.90 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more