Khampa, Eastern in China





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Khampa Nomads

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

The Khampa have a fearsome reputation as the most hostile and violent of Tibetans. "Tall and well built men, fearless and open of countenance, they resemble Apache Indians, with plaited hair hanging from each side of well modeled heads."


The Khampa have a long history of conflict with the Chinese, who annexed most of Kham Province to Sichuan in 1720. "No Chinese dares to enter the territory for fear of being murdered." Military clashes between the two groups occurred in 1918, 1928, and 1932. In 1950 the Chinese captured the town of Chamdo without firing a shot. The Khampa fled in terror when the Chinese set off a huge fireworks display on the outskirts of the town. In late 1955 the Chinese authorities ordered the monks of Litang Monastery to produce an inventory for tax assessment. The monks refused to oblige. In February 1956, the Chinese laid siege to the monastery which was defended by several thousand monks and farmers. Litang and surrounding areas were bombed by Chinese aircraft. In 1959 the Khampa in Lhasa organized a revolt against Chinese rule. "The fighting lasted three days with the Tibetans caught up in a religious fervor, not caring whether they lived or died."


Sexual immorality among the Khampa is considered normal behavior. A 1950s survey "found the rate of venereal diseases was 40% in peasant areas and 50.7% in pasture areas."


The Khampa, like all Tibetan groups, are devout followers of Buddhism.


Catholic work among the Khampa commenced in the mid-1800s. The Catholic mission at Batang Township was demolished in 1873 and 1905 - after two priests had been killed and converts who would not deny their faith were shot. By 1924 the mission numbered 2 bishops, 15 French missionaries, and 4,800 baptized converts of whom "about two-fifths were Tibetans." Today there are 200 Khampa Catholics near Kangding and some near Batang and Yajiang. Protestant work among the Khampa commenced in 1897. The missionaries ran hospitals, schools, and orphanages, but saw little fruit. By 1922 the Protestant station at Batang had won ten converts.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-22
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-05
People Name General Khampa, Eastern (Kum-ba)
People Name in Country Khampa, Eastern
Population in China 1,566,000
World Population 1,568,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kam, Kang, Kham, Khamba, Khampas, Khams, Khams Bhotia, Khams-Bhotia, Khams-Yal, Konka, Konkaling
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Khampa, Eastern (Kum-ba)
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 18522
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 1.2 million Khampa Tibetans speak the Eastern Khampa language. They inhabit a vast area but are primarily concentrated in western Sichuan Province as far east as Kangding, a large portion of eastern Tibet, and parts of southern Qinghai Province. The Eastern Khampa town of Litang lies 4,700 meters (15,400 ft.) above sea level. Chamdo is another important town - at an altitude of 3,200 meters (10,500 ft.). The Chamdo Monastery was built in 1473 and now houses 2,500 monks. Other main towns include Bayi, where a massive textile and carpet factory employs 1,300 workers, and Batang, which is 2,700 meters (8,856 ft.) above sea level..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tibetan, Khams: Eastern Khams (1,566,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tibetan, Khams: Eastern Khams 1,566,000
For Primary Language: Tibetan, Khams

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Khams Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
95.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.05 %)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
4.95 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
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: COMIBAM / Sepal  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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