Namuyi in China

Namuyi
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Namuyi
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 8,800
World Population: 8,800
Primary Language: Namuyi
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tibetan
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Areas of the western Liangshan Prefecture used to be in a province called Xikang, which was grafted into Sichuan Province in 1939. Xikang was a violent region; murder and banditry were commonplace. "Much of the banditry and lawlessness in Sikang [Xikang] can be traced to the opium trade. Confusion and violent civil strife often break out in opium-growing districts after the harvest. ... The prevalence of such lawlessness makes firearms almost a necessity, even for lawabiding citizens." For more than 200 years, up until the 1950s, the Namuyi were subject to the powerful Chrame Kingdom that was based in Muli. The king ruled with "absolute spiritual and temporal sway" over his subjects.

Although they officially belong to the Tibetan minority, the Namuyi, who call themselves Namuzi in Jiulong and Muli, speak a distinct language belonging to the Qiangic branch. The Namuyi, along with several similar groups such as the Jiarong, Ersu, Shixing, Ergong, and Minyak, have been combined into the Tibetan nationality solely on the basis of their religion.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Namuyi practice traditional Tibetan wind burial. Corpses are cut up with an axe into small pieces and placed on a mountaintop. Ravens and other birds of prey descend and devour the flesh and organs. The Namuyi believe this enables the soul of the dead person to be scattered to the four winds.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Namuyi are Tibetan Buddhists, but those who live near the large and influential Nosu group have adopted their polytheistic practices.

The Namuyi have yet to hear the gospel for the first time because of their geographic, social and religious isolation. There are few Christians among any of the ethnic groups in the region. Of the hundreds of self-sacrificing missionaries who gave their lives for China, none is known to have worked in the Namuyi area. C. T. Studd, a well-known sportsman in England, gave up his fame and career to serve Christ in Africa and China. For Studd, the decision was not a difficult one to make. He simply explained, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him."

What Are Their Needs?

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

Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project