Xibe in China

Joshua Project has identified the Xibe only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Xibe are one of China's official minority groups. Today, the Xibe are actually two distinct people groups living on opposite sides of China. Each group has formed its own language, culture, and customs. For mission purposes, there is no doubt that the two Xibe groups should be viewed as separate ethnolinguistic peoples. The name Xibe refers to the people's former custom of wearing an animal-shaped leather hook.


Xibe history dates back to at least AD 400. Some historians believe they are descended from the ancient Xianbei tribe. Indeed, most Xibe today regard the Xianbei as their ancestors. Historical accounts often mention features of blond hair and blue-green eyes among the Xibe. One visitor said, "One can still find some Xibe with these features in Fuyu County in the northeast." Between 1690 and 1701, the Qing government moved large numbers of Xibe soldiers and civilians to Beijing, Shengjing, Kaiyuan, Jinzhou, and twenty other cities in Liaoning Province.


Today most of the Xibe are culturally and linguistically indistinguishable from the Han Chinese. In the past the Xibe were divided into hala and mokon, common to all nationalities in the northeast. "A hala is a clan whose members all have the same surname. A hala consists of several mokon, localized kin groups claiming common descent from a progenitor." Until recently Xibe homes consisted of at least three generations of family members living under the same roof.


Most Xibe are nonreligious in everyday matters, although elements of ancestor worship and polytheism remain evident. Every March the Xibe offer fish to their ancestors. In July they offer melons. Some of their gods include the Insect king, the Dragon king, the earth spirit, and the smallpox spirit. They pay special homage to Xilimama, the god who provides domestic tranquility, and Haierkan, the god who protects livestock.


Although overall they remain an unreached people group, in recent years a few Xibe churches have been established north of Shenyang. This is largely through the witness of neighboring Korean believers. There are at least 300,000 Protestants and 60,000 Catholics in Liaoning Province today. In recent years Xibe gospel recordings were produced for the first time. Many Xibe now speak Mandarin as their first language and can be adequately evangelized in that language.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-13
Video Links:
The Path to Truth and Life
People Name General Xibe (Shee-ba)
People Name in Country Xibe
Population in China 231,000
World Population 231,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Shibe, Sibin, Sibo, Western Manchu, Xibo
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Altaic
People Name General Xibe (Shee-ba)
Ethnic Code MSY41i
People ID 18720
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 180,000 members of the Xibe nationality inhabit more than 25 counties within Liaoning Province in northeast China. This figure does not include the 32,900 Western Xibe who live in Xinjiang on the opposite side of the country. They have been profiled separately..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Mandarin Xibe
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin Xibe
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: Non-Religious

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.22 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
45.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
54.50 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
90.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
10.0 %
Photo Source: Paul Noll  
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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