Keriya in China

Joshua Project has identified the Keriya only in China

Population

750

Christian

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Identity

The Keriya have been officially counted as part of the Uygur nationality in China. Although they now speak Uygur as their own language, they claim to be descended from the Gug tribe who fled into the desert centuries ago to escape the attacking Ladakhis from Kashmir.


History

After they were attacked by the Ladakhis, "a small number of Gug people crossed the Kunlun Mountains and settled in the Keriya River valley, where they reclaimed land, hunted and herded animals and lived a self-sufficient life until today." The Keriya live on the ruins of the ancient city of Keladun, which is now buried beneath the sand. Archaeologists have found items of pottery dated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220). Ruins of twenty similar cities are found throughout the desert. The Keriya people were first "discovered" by Swedish explorer Svan Anders von Hedin in 1896 after he had traveled 12 days into the desert, following the Keriya River. It recently dried up after a sudden change in course and can no longer be followed.


Customs

The Keriya live in widely scattered communities. When there is a wedding or other celebration, "the invitation is written on a slip of paper and passed from family to family, which usually takes a fortnight to do the rounds." Most Keriya families herd goats and sheep. Many also raise camels, horses, and donkeys. Mutton pancakes, called somitikubaxi, are the main staple of the Keriya's diet.


Religion

The Keriya have embraced the Sunni Islamic beliefs of most of the people groups in Xinjiang. They do not have their own mosques but are careful to observe all Muslim rules and regulations.


Christianity

The hidden Keriya people have never heard the gospel. They present a significant physical challenge for any would-be evangelist who must venture deep into the awesome and hostile Taklimakan Desert to reach these precious souls. Taklimakan is a Turkic word which means "many go in, but few come out." Summer temperatures in the area frequently rise to over 50° Celsius (122°F).


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

People Name General Keriya (Kerr-yah)
People Name in Country Keriya
Population in China 750
World Population 800
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Keriya Uygurs
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Uyghur
People Name General Keriya (Kerr-yah)
Ethnic Code MSY41z
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution rankinging, )
Location in Country Approximately 100 families of the Keriya tribe live "at the southeastern edge of the great Taklimakan Desert… in a green corridor that extends sporadically into the depths of the desert." The largest Keriya community is Tangzubast Village, about 300 kilometers (185 mi.) north of the town of Yutian, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Tangzubast has been placed under the jurisdiction of Liuabuyi Township in Yutian County. The only way for travelers to visit the area is to follow the dry Keriya River bed north, as there are no roads.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Uyghur (700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Uyghur 700
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1898-1995)
New Testament Yes   (1914-2005)
Complete Bible Yes   (1950)
Audio Bible Online
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Audio Recordings Xush Hewer Uyghur audio Bible
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Uyghur
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Uighur Language Film
General Got Questions Ministry
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language
Scripture Muqeddes Kitab
Scripture Uyghurche Muqeddes Kitab Jemiyiti

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: Galen Frysinger  
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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