The Manchu of China
The Manchu live mostly in the northeastern region of
China that borders Russia. They are a Mongoloid people whose origins can be traced back to Siberia. Ancient Chinese sources make mention of them as far back as 1000 BC. Though small in number, in 1644, the Manchu conquered the Chinese Empire and established the Qing Dynasty. This dynasty ruled in China for 250 years. Their success, however, cost them their ethnic identity. Long before the Qing Dynasty collapsed in 1911, the Manchu had ceased to be a distinct people ethnically, linguistically, and culturally.
Since 1911, the Manchu have grown considerably in number and are now a registered minority. Nevertheless, they still do not possess their own autonomous territory, as do most other minority groups.
The Manchu language is known as kuoyu. Their script is a modified variation of Mongolian. Oddly enough, kuoyu is not widely spoken or read by many Manchu people. Most of them prefer instead to use the Chinese language.
What are their lives like?
In years past, most of the Manchu were farmers; whereas, today only a little more than half of them continue earning a living from the land. Approximately half of all the Manchu now live in cities where they work in factories or as businessmen. They trade regularly with Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, and Russia. Tourism has also become a fast-growing source of income for the Manchu.
Whether residing in cities or in rural areas, the Manchu usually live in one-story dwellings that are grouped closely together and connected by narrow alleys. Most of the shelters located in the rural areas, however, are in shoddy condition. On the whole, China is plagued by inadequate utilities, poor sanitation, and unsafe drinking water. Nevertheless, the Manchu people have remained strong. In their culture, it is not uncommon for three or more generations to live together as a family.
In recent years, the Chinese government, attempting to cap the population explosion, limited the number of children to only one per family. Currently this policy has been altered somewhat. Families are now permitted to have a second child after four years, but only if the first child was a girl. As they grow, children are expected to help with the household chores, but education remains the highest priority. The literacy rate among the Manchu is approximately 70%.
The Manchu enjoy wrestling, ice skating, and horseback riding for recreation. They also welcome story-telling and puppet shows. Festivals are held to celebrate spring planting, autumn harvest, and New Year's Day.
What are their beliefs?
Traditionally, the religious practices of the Manchu were centered around shamanism. This is the belief that there is an unseen world of many gods, demons, and ancestral spirits. They depended on shamans (priests or priestesses) to cure the sick by magic, communicate with the gods, and control events.
Today, however, many of the Manchu practice
Buddhism and Confucianism. Modern Manchu tend to rely less on religion and more on logic. Even China's schools have detached themselves from many of the traditional religious values, and encourage students to depend on knowledge instead.
What are their needs?
Because the Manchu ruled China for 250 years, they are generally hated by other Chinese. These people desperately need to experience the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ. For many years the Manchu have viewed Christianity as simply a method for foreigners to gain control over them. Consequently, many Christians have been persecuted or even put to death at the hands of the Chinese. In ancient times, the Manchu emperor was referred to as "the son of heaven." His responsibilities included praying for the people and making sacrifices for them. The Manchu deserve the chance to meet Jesus, the only true "Son of heaven." He desires to be their High Priest who will ever make intercession for them before the Father.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Manchu bound.
- Pray that the doors of China will soon open to missionaries.
- Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to China and share Christ with the Manchu.
- Pray that God will strengthen and encourage the small number of believers who live among the Manchu. Pray for His protection over them from physical harm.
- Pray that the intellect of the Manchu will not hinder them from receiving the Gospel.
- Pray that God will grant Christian missionaries favor with the government.
- Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Manchu towards Christians. Pray that they will have a hunger for the Truth.
- Pray that God will call Christian medical teams to work among the Manchu.
See also the following Group:
The Western Manchu of China
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Manchu
- Country: China
- Their language: kuoyu
- Largest religion:
- Christians: 0.02%
- Church members: 2,079
- Scriptures in their own language: Bible
- Jesus Film in their own language: none
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: none
- Mission agencies working among this people: 4
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 3,120,500 (30%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 7,274,400 (70%)
- Country: China
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 42
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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