Bisu in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Bisu have been included as part of the Hani nationality in China, yet they firmly hold to their own identity, wear their own distinct dress, and speak their own language. The Bisu in Menghai County are called Laopin or Pin, while those in Lancang and Menglian call themselves Laomian. This suggests possible ethno-linguistic differences between the two areas.


The Bisu share a common history with a larger group of related peoples, including the Mpi, Phunoi, and Pyen in the adjoining areas of Laos and Myanmar. Bisu history has been one of harassment and persecution at the hands of neighboring groups. The 1,000 Bisu in northern Thailand migrated south along the Mekong River from either Yunnan or Laos earlier this century, encountering hostile peoples wherever they went. Today the Bisu are despised by both the Chinese and Thai majorities who call them a host of derogatory names.


Most aspects of Bisu village life revolve around their zealous appeasement of evil spirits. No sacrifice is spared in an effort to keep peace with the demanding demons. This traps the Bisu in dire poverty, as numerous valuable livestock are wasted in needless sacrifices.


Few groups seem to be so serious in their devotion and so bound in their fear of evil spirits as the Bisu. Every part of the Bisu culture includes spirit appeasement. The Bisu desire to live at peace and believe that ignoring the demons' demands will result in suffering, sickness, and disaster.


Few attempts have been made to take the gospel to the Bisu, despite the presence of Lahu and Wa Christians in the vicinity. There are a small number of believers in Menglian County, including a few Bisu, but the majority has absolutely no awareness of the gospel. In Thailand the Bisu have recently invited a Christian family to live in their village and to invent a written script for their language. The handful of Bisu who have embraced Christianity have invariably experienced severe persecution from other Bisu in their communities.

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

People Name General Bisu (Bee-soo)
People Name in Country Bisu
Population in China 5,400
World Population 6,900
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Laomian, Laopin, Mbi, Mbisu, Mibisu, Misu, Pin
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Bisu (Bee-soo)
Ethnic Code MSY50z
People ID 10881
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Seven thousand Bisu live in the southern tip of Yunnan Province. Approximately 1,000 Bisu also inhabit two villages near Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The Bisu in China live in eight large villages in three different counties of Xishuangbanna Prefecture, including Mengzhe Village of Menghai County; Zhutang, Laba, Donglang, and Fubang villages of Lancang County; and Jingxin, Fuyan, and Nanya villages of Menglian County. A few are also found in Ximeng County. The Bisu are neighbors of the Lahu, Hani, and Dai minority groups..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bisu (5,400)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bisu 5,400
For Primary Language: Bisu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.30 %)
0.30 %
Ethnic Religions
98.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
1.70 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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