Uygur, Taklimakan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Uygur, Taklimakan only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



In early 1990 a Chinese oil exploration team4 came across a village of people living around an extremely remote oasis in the heart of the desert. They were described as having a "gentle culture, living primitive lives in extreme isolation." Experts discovered this tribe had been out of touch with the world for 350 years. "As a result, they ... knew nothing of the historical fact of the Qing Dynasty (China's last dynasty) or about anything else up to the present time."


It is not known why the ancestors of the Taklimakan Uygur fled deep into the desert three and a half centuries ago. It may have been to escape the marauding bandits who infested the area at the time. The Xinjiang authorities - never slow to spot a money-making opportunity - sold the rights to film the tribe to the London-based Third Eye Television for US$2.8 million. This will no doubt have a massive impact on this tribe which had never seen a machine or electric appliance before. They will probably be consumed into mainstream Uygur culture before too long.


At the time of their discovery, the Taklimakan Uygurs "told the time by the sun, had no form of government or authority structure, and no schools or writing system. They lived around an oasis, farming animals and growing crops for their existence." Temperatures in the desert are as harsh as anywhere in the world. Andir, in the western part of the desert, once registered a temperature of 67.2° Celsius (153°F).


Despite their isolation, reports indicate that the Taklimakan Uygur were still Muslims when they were discovered.


The Taklimakan Desert is surrounded by the ancient Silk Road, which witnessed the arrival of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity in China. At the Dunhuang oasis which skirts the desert, startled archaeologists in the early 1900s began to unearth hundreds of Nestorian Christian documents. Accessible by helicopter only, the Taklimakan Uygur are the epitome of an unevangelized people group.

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

Video Links:
The Korban Provision
People Name General Uygur, Taklimakan (Wee-gur, Tahk-lee-mar-khan)
People Name in Country Uygur, Taklimakan
Population in China 300
World Population 300
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Taklamakan, Taklimakan, Uyghur, Uygur Taklamakan
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Uyghur
People Name General Uygur, Taklimakan (Wee-gur, Tahk-lee-mar-khan)
Ethnic Code MSY41z
People ID 18709
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 Deep in the heart of what many consider one of the most inhospitable places on earth lies one of the most fascinating stories found among China's peoples. A tribe of "more than 200" Uygurs live in the heart of the Tarim Basin in the desert of Taklimakan, a Uygur word which means "those who go in never come out." A vast expanse of shifting sand and wasteland in China's northwest, it covers an area of 337,000 square kilometers (131,400 sq. mi.) - about equal in size to the combined area of the eleven other deserts in China. Surface and subterranean streams, "fed by water from the melted snow on the Tianshan and Kunlun Mountains, flow quietly on or beneath the desert, forming here and there ponds and small lakes. Oases big and small crisscross the desert.".   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Uyghur (300)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Uyghur 300
For Primary Language: Uyghur

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1898-1995)
New Testament Yes   (1914-2005)
Complete Bible Yes   (1950)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: ھازىرقى زامام ئۇيغۇرچە تەرجىمىسى Text / Printed Matter
God's Story Video Film / Video
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Uyghur Film / Video
Muqeddes Kitab Text / Printed Matter
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Uighur Language Film Film / Video
Uyghurche Muqeddes Kitab Jemiyiti Text / Printed Matter
Xush Hewer Uyghur audio Bible Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
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: Anonymous  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
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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