Shenzhou in China

Joshua Project has identified the Shenzhou only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Shenzhou, who are also known in China as the Shenzhouren, are one of several groups in Guizhou Province who possess a Chinese ancestry. Due to living alongside minority peoples (such as the Miao, Yi, and Bouyei) for many centuries they have lost their original ethnicity and now see themselves as a minority group. Other groups in Guizhou who fit this description are the Chuanlan, Chuanqing, Liujia, and Nanjingren. In the 1982 census the Shenzhou were not granted status as a nationality but were instead included in a list of Undetermined Minorities. In 1985, when researchers proved the Shenzhou were historically Han people, they were placed under the Han Chinese nationality.2 This was not accepted by the Shenzhou who insist that they are a minority group. Although the Shenzhou do speak Chinese, the fact that they view themselves so differently from other Chinese justifies their inclusion as a separate ethnocultural group.


The ancestors of the Shenzhou were Chinese soldiers sent to Guizhou Province to quell uprisings by the Yi and Miao more than 800 years ago. After the fighting subsided, many soldiers stayed behind in Guizhou, took wives from among the local minorities - there were no other Han Chinese to speak of in the province at that time - and settled down. After generations passed, a new mixed people group evolved with aspects of minority culture and dress yet who still retained their Chinese language.


The overwhelming trend in China today is for the Han Chinese to assimilate non-Han minorities, which causes them to lose their identity. Therefore, it is ironic that there are pockets of people who fiercely insist on being called minority people even though the government has classified them as Han. The Shenzhou practise many customs, ceremonies, and festivals borrowed from minorities.


Although the Shenzhou do not think of themselves as religious people, ancestor worship still has a firm hold on the lives of most Shenzhou, especially the elderly. Some spirit worship, such as worship of the spirit of the house and village, are also practiced.


Because their exact location has yet to be ascertained, nothing is known about the status of Christianity among the Shenzhou people. If they happen to live near some of the Miao communities in Anshun Prefecture, then there is a good chance that some of the Shenzhou have been exposed to the gospel; otherwise, most areas of southern Guizhou are unreached and unevangelized.

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

Video Links:
The Path to Truth and Life
People Name General Shenzhou (Shen-joe)
People Name in Country Shenzhou
Population in China 4,800
World Population 4,800
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Shenzhouren
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Shenzhou (Shen-joe)
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 18681
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 With an estimated population of more than 4,000 people, the littleknown Shenzhou people group inhabit areas of western Guizhou Province in southern China. The precise location of the Shenzhou is uncertain, but it is likely that they live in Anshun Prefecture..   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, Mandarin (4,800)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin 4,800
For Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1864-1986)
New Testament Yes   (1857-1981)
Complete Bible Yes   (1874-1983)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版) Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Cartoon Gospel tract Text / Printed Matter
Chinese Blog about Unreached Peoples General
Christ for the Nations Audio Recordings
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
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
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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