Tuerke in China

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People Name: Tuerke
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 300
World Population: 600
Primary Language: Ili Turki
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Turkish
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Tuerke, who are ethnically and linguistically distinct from all other peoples in the region, were only "discovered" by the Chinese in 1956. Their name is a generic term for all Turkic peoples. They are also known as the Ili Turki, named after their location.

The oral history of the Tuerke states that they migrated from the Ferghana Valley—in today's Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan—about 200 years ago. The Ili Valley has long been a focal point for bandits. The Russians, angered at China's inability to control the border area, invaded Ili in 1871. They returned the region to China in March 1882. In 1962 there were several major China-Soviet military clashes along the Ili River.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Although the Tuerke possess their own set of customs, they are gradually replacing them with those of the Kazakhs and Uzbeks. The Tuerke are fond of dancing and telling folk tales. In keeping with Islamic regulations, Tuerke women are required to wear veils; these are not the full face veils worn in the Middle East.

What Are Their Beliefs?

All Tuerke are Sunni Muslims. Although they do not have their own mosques, the Tuerke are faithful in observing Islamic law and prayer times.

The far northwestern part of Xinjiang - which was formerly part of the Eastern Turkestan alliance —was one of the most missionary-neglected regions in China prior to 1949. There are few Christian communities in the area today. Gospel radio programs, aired in the Uzbek, Kazakh, and Uyghur languages, are the best opportunity the Tuerke have of hearing the gospel in a language they understand.

What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Tuerke people need to allow the loving Savior to direct their lives. They need his forgiveness for sin.

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.

Text Source:   Joshua Project