Han Chinese, Gan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Han Chinese, Gan only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Gan Chinese are part of the great Han Chinese nationality - the largest ethnic group in the world. Gan, however, is a distinct language that differs from Mandarin and other Chinese varieties.


The Xia Dynasty (2200-1700 BC): The Chinese claim 5,000 years of continuous history, beginning with the mythological Xia Dynasty. The very existence of the Xia is doubtful, as archaeological evidence has not been found to support the written accounts of the time. According to legend, the Xia was preceded by three sovereigns. The first sovereign, Fuxi, was thought to be half human and half dragon. His wife, Nugua, is credited with having created humans from clay. Fuxi taught men how to hunt, fish, and farm. The first emperor, Huang Di, is said to have invented the calendar, boats, and pottery. After 500 years, the Xia leaders "became corrupt and were ... overthrown by the Shang." Jiangxi, where most Gan live, was incorporated into the Chinese empire at any early date but remained sparsely populated until the eighth century.


Jiangxi is famous for its abundance of silver. Extensive mining caused the formation of a wealthy ruling class. Today, Jiangxi is one of the most densely populated provinces in China.


Although the majority of Gan are nonreligious, there has been a revival of Buddhism and Daoism since the relaxing of restrictions on religion in recent years. Zhuangzi (369-286 BC) was an early leader of Daoism. His writings introduced the idea of the unity of opposites, ying and yang. This led to the notion of accepting life without struggle.


In 1900 the diabolical Boxer Rebellion broke out across China. Thirty thousand Chinese Catholics and 2,000 Protestants were massacred, as anti-foreign and anti-Christian feelings ran hot. The number of Christians in China more than doubled in the six years following the massacres. In 1901 one missionary in Jiangxi reported 20,000 converts. There are an estimated 400,000 Christians among the Gan Chinese today. The Jesus film has recently been translated into the Gan language, although most Gan are adequately bilingual in Mandarin.

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

Video Links:
Changed Lives
People Name General Han Chinese, Gan (Gahn)
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Gan
Population in China 41,120,000
World Population 41,120,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Gan, Han Chinese, Kan
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Han Chinese, Gan (Gahn)
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 18474
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 More than 35 million speakers of Gan Chinese live in Jiangxi Province and the southeastern corner of Hubei Province, including Dachi, Xianning, Jiayu, and Chongyang counties. The Gan account for approximately 3% of all Chinese in China. The greatest concentrations live along the Fuhe River, the lower reaches of the Ganjiang River, and around Poyang Lake. Small numbers of Gan speakers also live in eastern and southwestern Hunan, southern Anhui, and the northwestern part of Fujian Province..   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)
Chinese, Gan (41,120,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Gan 41,120,000
For Primary Language: Chinese, Gan

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
Online Scripture / Portions Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
15.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 6.50 %)
8.00 %
Ethnic Religions
53.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
24.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
85.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
3.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
12.0 %
Photo Source: Create International   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Video Source: Create 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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