Changpao in China

Joshua Project has identified the Changpao only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



When the Chinese sent their teams of experts throughout China to determine the official nationalities, they could not decide which minority group the Changpao were related to. In the 1982 census they were placed in a list of Undetermined Minorities. In 1985, possibly at their own insistence, they were reclassified as part of the Yao nationality. The name Changpao is Chinese in origin. It is not known what this group calls itself. There is little doubt, however, that from a mission-significant viewpoint the Changpao should be considered a distinct group.


The history of the classification of the Changpao began in 1953 when they applied for recognition as a distinct minority group. They appeared on a list as one of 80 groups in Guizhou that remained unclassified. After research, the list of 80 was reduced to only 23 "actual" groups, which included the Changpao. Although they have now been named as part of the Yao, the bureaucratic struggle of the Changpao is indicative of their struggle as a people group to survive against all odds. Poor soil, wars, and famine have combined to keep the Changpao population low over the centuries.


Culturally, the Changpao share many similarities with the Yao of Guangxi. They may be related to the various Bunu groups, who are linguistically Miao but culturally Yao after countless generations of living near Yao communities.


Throughout the course of the year, Changpao families observe several ceremonies dedicated to spirit worship and ancestor worship. Daoist priests are also consulted about many important festivities and rituals over which they then preside.


Because the location of the Changpao has yet to be specified, nothing is known of the status of Christianity among them. There are no more than a handful of known Yao believers in the whole province, so it is likely that the Changpao are an unreached and largely unevangelized people group. Protestant missionary activity in Guizhou, which commenced when C. H. Judd and J. F. Braumton of the China Inland Mission arrived in 1877, experienced great success among the A-Hmao and Gha-Mu. Few other areas of the province have received a gospel witness.

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

People Name General Changpao (Chung-paow)
People Name in Country Changpao
Population in China 6,700
World Population 6,700
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Changpao Yao
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Changpao (Chung-paow)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18427
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 Approximately 5,000 members of the Changpao ethnic group live in an unspecified part of southwestern or southern Guizhou Province in southern China. Guizhou "is an intense table-land with a mean altitude of 4,200 feet [1,280 meters]. Deep narrow rivers intersect the table-land which is studded with numerous mountain peaks, some of which, especially in the west, attain an altitude of 8,000 or 9,000 feet [2,440-2,740 meters].".   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bunu, Bu-Nao (6,700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bunu, Bu-Nao 6,700
For Primary Language: Bunu, Bu-Nao

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

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

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