Yugur, Enger in China

Joshua Project has identified the Yugur, Enger only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Enger Yugur, who speak a Mongolian language, have been combined with the Turkic-speaking Saragh Yugur to form the official Yugur minority in China.


Most scholars believe the Yugur are descended from a nomadic tribe known as the Huiqu. The Huiqu were first recorded during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). In the mid-800s, "heavy snowfall, combined with an attack from the forest-dwelling Kirgiz from the north, forced the Yugurs to flee their Mongolian homeland." They moved to Gansu where they came under the control of the Tibetans. The Yugur region was largely unknown and cut off from the world for centuries until the completion of the Lanzhou- Urumqi railway line in 1963 which passes through the Yugur area.


The Yugur practice bird burials, similar to the Tibetans. Dead corpses are cut up into pieces and taken to a mountaintop where ravens and other birds of prey come and devour the flesh. Historically the Yugur were divided into nine separate clans. Each clan controlled its own herding area.


When the Yugur first arrived in the area in the ninth century, they believed in Manichaeanism. They were soon converted to Buddhism by the Tibetans. Today most Yugur remain followers of Tibetan Buddhism. In recent years there has been a revival of the ancient shamanistic religion and the cult of the "Emperor of Heaven," Han Tengri.


Although few Enger Yugur today have ever heard the name of Jesus Christ, the region had many Christians in the past. The Ongkuts developed a widespread Christian culture, witnessed to by the many Christian crosses found by archaeologists. The Yugur are thought to be the descendants of this tribe. When Marco Polo visited Dunhuang, near the Yugur's homeland, he reported, "It is true there are some Turks who hold to the religion of the Nestorian Christians." In 1992 the first Enger Yugur people believed in Christ. Today there are approximately 50 Christians.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-21
People Name General Yugur, Enger (Yoo-gur, Eng-gur)
People Name in Country Yugur, Enger
Population in China 5,900
World Population 5,900
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names East Yugur, Eastern Yogor, Enger, Huangtou Huihe, Huihe, Mongolian Yugur, Sali Weiwu, Shera Yugur, Shira Yugur, Xila Weiguer, Yogur, Yugar, Yugu
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Uyghur
People Name General Yugur, Enger (Yoo-gur, Eng-gur)
Ethnic Code MSY41z
People ID 18735
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 The small Yugur (not to be mistaken for the Uygur) minority live in the Gansu corridor. They are one of the most unique people groups in China, speaking two completely unrelated languages. The Enger (Eastern) Yugur live in the eastern part of the Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in northern Gansu Province. A 1987 study listed 4,000 speakers of Enger Yugur, representing about a third of all Yugur..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Yugur, East (5,900)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Yugur, East 5,900
For Primary Language: Yugur, East

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
65.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
1.20 %
Ethnic Religions
31.80 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
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: Mark mke1963   Creative Commons  
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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