Ainu, Aynu in China


Joshua Project has identified the Ainu, Aynu only in China

Population

7,450

Christian

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Identity

For reasons that are unclear, the majority of Uygur despise the Ainu and call them Abdal, which means "beggar". The Uygur refuse to intermarry with the Ainu, who are linguistically, culturally, and socially a distinct people group.


History

The history of the Ainu is shrouded in uncertainty. Why they came to be hated by their fellow Muslims is a mystery. Their Persian language suggests they probably originated in Central Asia long ago. Kashgar is one of the most isolated cities in China. To reach Kashgar from Beijing once required two years' travel by camel. It is located more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 mi.) from Beijing and is even a grueling three-day bus journey from Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Kashgar today has more in common with nearby Pakistan than with the rest of China.


Customs

Most Ainu lead simple lives, herding sheep and goats. Some Ainu men in recent years have been forced to travel to other large cities in Xinjiang to seek employment in industry and construction.


Religion

The Ainu are Muslims of the Sunni sect; they worship in mosques scattered throughout their villages. They have been described as a "caste of circumcisers." Few Ainu have ever studied Arabic, so even the religious leaders of their communities are unable to read the Qur'an.


Christianity

Although no trace of Christianity remains in Kashgar today, it was once a church center for much of Central Asia. Kashgar was the appointed seat of a Nestorian metropolitan bishop in the thirteenth century. When the intrepid explorer Marco Polo visited Kashgar at the time, he noted that it contained "Turks who are Nestorian Christians who have churches of their own, and they are mixed and dwell with the inhabitants as the Jews in these parts live with Christians." Today, Kashgar is a stronghold of Islam, and the Ainu have no knowledge of the gospel message. Only a handful has been evangelized, primarily as a result of listening to the recently begun weekly gospel radio broadcasts in the Uygur language. Being a despised people, the Ainu eagerly desire the acceptance of their Uygur neighbors, an acceptance that makes the practice of Islam a prerequisite and the acceptance of Christianity unlikely.


Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Ainu, Aynu (Eye-noo)
People Name in Country Ainu, Aynu
Population in China 7,500
World Population 7,500
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Abdal, Aini, Aynu
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Ural-Siberian
People Name General Ainu, Aynu (Eye-noo)
Ethnic Code MSY41z
People ID 10522
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Ainu, who number approximately 6,500 people, live scattered over a wide area of northwest China. The Ainu inhabit the six counties of Hetian, Luopu, Moyu, Shache, Yingjisha, and Shulekuche, near the famous ancient city of Kashgar. Kashgar, a giant oasis 1,290 meters (4,230 ft.) above sea level, is almost totally inhabited by Uygur, Uzbek, Tajik, and Kirgiz Muslims..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Ainu Uyghur
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ainu Uyghur
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Format Resource
None reported  

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Bryan Nicholson / cartoMission  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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