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The Dungans

Oct 30, 2012 at 11:51
Category: Central Asia, Doing the Stuff!


Friends, Dungan is the Turkic name for the  Chinese Muslims who live in Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan.  They are the descendants of Muslim Persian and Central Asian traders  who worked the Silk Road and married Chinese women.  The various emperors encouraged the traders, the trade & the marriages by decreeing that the women and children were to be Muslim.  They now number 10 million in China.

During 1862- 1877 the Chinese Muslims rebelled against the majority Han over trade & cultural issues but it was all very chaotic with ill defined goals, shifting alliances & left many Dungans seeking to leave China.  Over the next years about 10,000 left  for Central Asia.  There are now 110,000 Dungans in Central Asia.

While Dungan is a tonal language similar to Mandarin, it is written in Cyrillic Script in Central Asia and the Bible is available in that language.  Many Dungan also speak Russian and Kyrgyz or Kazakh.  

The Dungan communities are very closed to outsiders.  They tend to only marry amongst themselves and continue to practice the Hanafi branch of Sunni Islam with the local mosque being the centre of the community.  They are rice and vegetable farmers and also raise live stock.  They are hard working and self sufficient and most could be considered well off in comparison to  villages around them.

"There are no known Christians among the Dungans of Kyrgyzstan and no mission agencies currently targeting them."  Bethany World Prayer Centre

"There  are not even 100 Christians among the Dungans of Kazakhstan."   The Joshua Project

The Dungans are an unreached people group.  We have known two Dungan followers of Jesus but no longer have any contact with them.  One of our friends in Kyrgyzstan serves the Dungan people.  She is well received and able to share practical help and her faith in Jesus.  

Your partnership with us enables her to go.

Thank you.

Your brother Steve

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