Ladakhi in China

Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Ladakhi
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 600
World Population: 600
Primary Language: Ladakhi
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Leh, the capital of Ladakh, was the home of an independent Ladakhi monarchy for a thousand years. Today a Ladakhi royal family still exists in Leh, but their influence has been merely symbolic since the independence of India in 1947. The Ladakhi royal family trace their lineage back to the legendary King Nya Tri Tsanpo who ruled in the third century BC.

The Ladakhi in China are a Tibetan group, but they have major linguistic and historical differences from their counterparts in Tibet. The closely related Nubra people group also live in China.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Life for the Ladakhi is hard. Hidden away in the highest mountains in the world, the region sees little rainfall, no more than three inches per year. Farmers rely on melted snow to water their crops. Winter temperatures remain constant at minus 30C (-22F).

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ladakhi share the beliefs of their Tibetan neighbors. Tibetan Buddhism, mixed with images of ferocious demons from the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, has been the stronghold in Ladakh for more than a thousand years. Traces of influence from the dark, distant past are found in the demonic masks and reenactments of human sacrifices that make up their festivals. The Ladakhi believe hell is a miserably cold place.

The first Christians to the Ladakhi were probably Nestorian traders in the eighth century. Georgian crosses have been found inscribed on boulders in Ladakh. In 1642 a Portuguese priest, Antonio de Andrade, established a base near present-day Zanda. The mission was torn down soon after by the king of Ladakh. The Moravians commenced work in Ladakh in 1856 and by 1922 numbered 158 converts. They reported, "There is no very active opposition to Christian work. ... The people are very willing to accept anything we can give them in the way of medicine, education, or even Scriptures and religious tracts." There are no known Christians among the small number of Ladakhi in Tibet.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ladakhi people need Jesus as the true guide in for their families and communities. They need to know what our purpose on this earth is and how to do it in a way that pleases God. They need to know who Jesus is and why he came to this world. They need people who are willing to translate the gospel and communicate to them the good news.

Prayer Points

Pray for God’s divine intervention in this community to know and accept Christ as their Lord.
Pray for God to soften their hearts and to know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Pray for more Christian communities to grow in their location to show them the blessings of a Christ-centered life.

Text Source:   Joshua Project