The Ching of China
The Ching are a subgroup of the Bouyei, one of China's 55 officially recognized minority ethnic groups. Living in southern and southwestern Guizhou province in south-central China, the Ching speak a language also called Ching. Many of the people have begun to speak Bouyei or Chinese as a second language. The Ching and the other peoples within the Bouyei minority are closely related to the neighboring Zhuang minority of Yunnan province.
Many years ago, the Ching adopted a feudal economic system from the Han Chinese, in which a few wealthy landowners controlled nearly all the land. The landowners often mistreated their tenants, and the common Ching people sometimes reacted violently against their oppressors.
In 1949, Communist rebels overthrew the Chinese government. Since that time, the lives of the Ching have improved somewhat, although they continue to live as poor farmers.
What are their lives like?
The area in which the Ching live has an almost tropical climate, with warm weather and high rainfall. Most of the Ching are farmers, who cultivate a variety of crops, such as rice, wheat, corn, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, potatoes, and beans for personal use. They grow cotton, tobacco, silk, hemp, and cocoa as cash crops.
The Ching live mainly in two-storied houses. Often, the family lives on the upper floor and keeps animals on the bottom level. Villages are located away from main roads and are often surrounded by a stone wall or bamboo stockade. Most villages are composed of less than 200 people and are located next to rivers or on plains.
The Ching are known as a hospitable people, and they consider it an honor to have a visitor in their home. Upon entering a home, a guest is first offered two "pillow cakes" (light, sweetened rice cakes). The hosts will often entertain the guest with a lavish meal, and as a sign of honor, the visitor is offered the head and feet of a duck.
The staple food of the Ching is rice, which is prepared in a variety of ways. Wine made from rice is a popular drink. Pickled vegetables and vinegar soup are common items at meals. The Ching also enjoy eating dog meat, but a dog is only slaughtered for a very special occasion.
Ching marriages are nearly always monogamous; that is, each man has only one wife. In years past, they married at young ages. After the marriage occurs, often the bride is not able to leave her home to be with her husband, and she is only able to see him occasionally. After several years, the groom and his family will often kidnap the bride to take her to her husband's home.
What are their beliefs?
The Ching traditionally followed a variety of religions. Some of them adhered to Buddhism or Taoism, but the majority of them worshipped many gods and believed that every part of nature has a spirit. On the sixth day of the sixth lunar month, they would worship their most honored ancestor, Pan Gu, who was believed to be the father of all the Bouyei-related peoples. They believed that he would provide them with an abundant harvest. The Ching also had ancestral altars in their homes, and food offerings were often left at the base of certain trees and in small shrines outside the villages. Since the Communist takeover of China in 1949, all religions have been harshly suppressed; as a result, the importance of their traditional beliefs has declined for the Ching.
What are their needs?
Ching villagers often must walk long distances to obtain water. During the dry season, the walk for drinking water may take five or six hours. Unsanitary conditions have led to the outbreak of diseases, such as typhoid fever. Poor housing is common, and even the best homes often have poor, leaky roofs.
Most of the Ching have not been reached with the Gospel, and Christian resources are not available in their language. Very few of them have ever had the opportunity to accept or reject Christ, and even fewer have actually become Christians.
- Pray for the Lord to prepare the hearts of the Ching to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for a mighty army of intercessors to stand in the gap for the Ching.
- Ask the Lord to use the believers of the Chinese underground church to bring the Gospel to the Ching.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that have kept the Ching bound for so many generations.
- Pray for the Lord to call Christian medical workers who will be willing to go to China and work among the Ching.
- Ask the Lord for qualified linguists who will be able to translate the Bible into the Ching language.
- Pray that the Ching will hunger to know Jesus and that God will reveal Himself to them through dreams and visions.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Ching church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Ching
- Country: China
- Their language: Ching (Mak)
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 1%
- Church members: 120
- Scriptures in their own language: None
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 0
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 2,200 (18%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 9,800 (82%)
- 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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