Photo Source: Copyrighted © 2023
Operation China, Asia Harvest All rights reserved. Used with permission
Map Source: People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||0.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Southeast Asian Peoples|
The Rao claim to have migrated from Yunnan long ago. They say they were a Yao group who separated and gradually formed their own ethnic identity. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) the Rao were repeatedly attacked by the Chinese.
The official classification of the Rao is a confusing matter. They are not recognized as a distinct group by the Chinese authorities, who have placed them as part of two other minority groups. The Rao in Majiang County have been officially included as part of the Yao nationality since 1991, while those in Duyun, about 100 kilometers (62 mi.) to the south of Majiang, have been counted as part of the Bouyei nationality. Before 1949 the Rao in Majiang used another name, which meant "sudden death."
The Rao are hardworking farmers. They live in Guizhou, a province with poor health care. Every November the Rao hold a winter festival where they remember their customs and acknowledge their uniqueness as a people. Each Rao village consists of members of the same family name. Rao people are only permitted to marry within their own clan. Single women wear an embroidered headdress; but once they are married, they wear black or dark blue headdresses.
In the past the Rao were animists, but they were forced to discontinue all spiritual practices during the antireligious campaigns of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.
The Rao are a relatively untouched people group. They have never had a single known Christian believer, and no more than a relative handful are aware of the existence of Jesus Christ. The person privileged to take the gospel to the Rao will need the tenacity of Samuel Zwemer, who stated, "Frequent set-backs and apparent failure never disheartened the real pioneer. Occasional martyrdoms are only a fresh incentive. Opposition is a stimulus to greater activity."
The Rao people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.
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.