Mo in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Mo
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,000
World Population: 15,000
Primary Language: Mak
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.20 %
Evangelicals: 0.16 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tai
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Mo were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities in the 1982 census but were reclassified into the Bouyei nationality in 1985. The Mo are also known as the Mo Jia, Mak, and Ching, which may be the names of Mo clans. Most of the inhabitants of Jia Liang are surnamed Mo.

The Mo language - which has been described as "very close to Shui" - is also related to Yanghuang and Rao. It is part of the Dong-Shui branch of the Tai linguistic family. It contains five dialects: Mak, Ching, Chi, Hwa, and Lyo. Most Mo men are able to speak Mandarin, with a heavy local accent. Many can also speak Bouyei as a trade language. Most Mo women, however, cannot speak any Mandarin at all.

Because they do not possess a script, the exact history of the Mo is uncertain. From their language, it can be speculated that the Mo were originally part of the Shui, who migrated away from the main body of Shui several centuries ago.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many of the Mo customs are the same as those of the Bouyei. When visiting a Mo home, "one may see cut-paper spells hanging in the doorway or in the windows. The door may have a mirror above it to reflect demons away or swords to pierce them if they try to enter."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mo adhere to the Chinese religion of Daoism. Although they do not have their own temples, most Mo homes contain pictures of fierce Daoist deities. Posters are plastered to the doors and gates of their houses in a bid to scare off afflicting demons.

A Protestant mission station opened in Dushan County in 1895, but "the time of the missionaries was entirely given up to work among the Chinese." In 1995 a Hong Kong-based mission presented the gospel to the Mo and succeeded in winning several of them to Christ. The new converts immediately started a house church. About 30 Mo have reportedly become Christians in the years since then. These messengers of the gospel shared the great joy that many early pioneers found in presenting the message of eternal life to a people for the first time. One missionary wrote, "I know not whether anyone experiences emotion worthy to be compared with the thrill of joy which the missionary feels, when permitted for the first time to point out to a sin enslaved people the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

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 spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray that the Mo people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project