The Yung-Chuun of China
China is a land of great diversity in geography, climate, languages, and ethnic groups. It is home to approximately 180 distinct ethnic groups, among whom are the 12,000 Yung-Chuun. The Yung-Chuun live in the Guangxi province of southern China near the border of Vietnam. They are probably included as part of the Zhuang, China's largest ethnic minority. Their language, Yongchun, belongs to the Kam-Tai language family. Significant attempts have been made to reach the Zhuang over the last few years. Hopefully, the Yung-Chuun are also benefiting from these efforts.
By l990, large areas of China were undergoing significant economic development. The most surprising changes took place in southern China. The prosperity in this area has been broadly based. Unfortunately, however, the Zhuang and the neighboring groups are being left out of China's modernization and industrialization programs.
What are their lives like?
The Yung-Chuun are mostly plains dwellers who practice wet rice farming. Where sufficient bottom land is not available, they grow rice and other crops on terraced hill sides.
Among the Yung-Chuun, the family is considered the most important social unit. Each village is grouped by male family members. A newly married woman stays with her mother until the birth of her first child, after which she will go and live with her husband. Society is both patrilocal (couples live near the groom's relatives) and patrilineal (descent is traced through the males). Boys' names are associated with their fathers' names, but girls' names are not.
The Yung-Chuun are well known for their sincere hospitality. When a guest enters a home, he is offered wine and strong tea. If he declines the drinks, the family will be highly offended; if he drinks them, the host will generously serve him with the finest he has to offer.
The Yung-Chuun celebrate several major festivals each year, the most important of which is the New Year festival. This seven day event is celebrated at harvest time. At noon on New Year's Day, an announcer throws three balls of blackened rice behind him to bid farewell to the old year. He then greets the new year by tossing three balls of white rice in front of him. Next, he pushes the ropes of a special swing and all of the people, regardless of sex or age, begin swinging. (They believe that this will ward off disaster and ensure a prosperous year.) That evening, the villagers stand around a bonfire eating, drinking, singing, and dancing. At midnight, the announcer cuts down the frame of the swing to signify the beginning of a new work year. During such times of celebration, the Yung-Chuun wear attractive, hand-woven costumes made of blue or black cotton fabric. The men wear distinctive jackets and turbans, while the women wear collarless blouses and special caps.
What are their beliefs?
Traditionally, the religious practices of the Yung-Chuun combined elements of animism (belief that non-human objects have spirits), polytheism (belief in many gods), and ancestor worship (praying to deceased relatives for guidance or protection). Trees in the "holy hills" were believed to be their guardian spirits. Today, most still adhere to similar beliefs. They are very superstitious and view certain events, such as the birth of twins or handicapped children, as unlucky. These children are killed, their parents banished, and their homes and possessions burned. They believe in the existence of many ruling spirits, such as spirits that rule over heaven and earth, spirits that protect their villages, and evil spirits that bring diseases.
What are their needs?
Although China's government is making some strides towards modernizing the country, the Yung-Chuun are being left out of the industrialization programs. They are in need of current techniques to improve their agricultural pursuits and opportunities to educate their people. Spiritually, they are also very needy. Since China's government strictly forbids Christianity, it is difficult to maintain missionary work among the Yung-Chuun. Prayer is the key to seeing them reached with the Gospel.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities that are keeping the Yung-Chuun bound.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to work among the Yung-Chuun.
- Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to break up the spiritual soil of China through worship and intercession.
- Ask God to speed the completion of the Jesus film and other Christian materials into the Yongchun language.
- Pray that the doors of China will soon open to missionaries.
- Ask God to use the small number of Yung-Chuun Christians to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
- Pray that God will raise up qualified linguists to translate the Bible into the Yongchun language.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Yung-Chuun church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Yung-Chuun
- Country: China
- Their language: Yongchun
- Largest religion:
- Christian: <1%
- Church members: 36
- 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: 1,400 (12%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 10,600 (88%)
- Country: China
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 42
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
This profile may be copied and distributed without obtaining permission
as long as it is not altered, bound, published
or used for profit purposes.