Ai-Cham in China

The Ai-Cham have only been reported in China
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Ai-Cham have been erroneously counted as part of the Bouyei nationality in China. The Ai-Cham believe themselves to be a separate ethnic group and are unwilling to be identified as part of the Bouyei. Whereas Bouyei is a Northern Tai language, Ai-Cham is part of the Dong-Shui branch of the Tai language family. The Ai-Cham were probably counted as Bouyei by Chinese researchers because most of them can speak Bouyei, which is the local trade language.

The Ai-Cham find themselves sandwiched between giant ethnic groups, including the Zhuang to the south, the Bouyei to the north, and more recently the Han Chinese who have migrated into southern Guizhou in large numbers since the 1950s. It is possible the Ai-Cham were originally a group of Dong or Shui who long ago moved south to their present location. The historical roots of the Ai-Cham remain uncertain.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Chinese have long had this famous description of Guizhou: "There are not three days of sun, not three measures of flat land, and the people do not have three coins." This saying proves true today: Guizhou is still one of the poorest and least developed of China's provinces. Despite abundant rainfall, the inhabitants are cursed by poor harvests due to poor returns from the rocky ground.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ai-Cham are primarily polytheists. They worship a multiplicity of gods, ghosts, and spirit beings. They believe all of nature has a soul, including mountains, rivers, trees, and even large rocks. The Ai-Cham also worship their ancestors and put plates of food out several times a year for the souls of their deceased family members. In the past shamans held positions of great power among the Ai-Cham, but their influence was diminished during the anti-religion campaigns of the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976.


What Are Their Needs?

The Ai-Cham are an unreached people group without a gospel witness. Few have any knowledge of Christ. Prior to the 1950s there were both Protestant and Catholic missionaries in southern Guizhou, although there is no record of any workers who specifically focused on the Ai-Cham. The Protestant efforts met with little success.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Ai-Cham family leaders.
Pray for hundreds to find their ancient religion lacking and that they will seek and find Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out loving workers to the Ai-Cham people in China.
Pray for a movement to Christ that will impact the cultural groups around them.


Scripture Prayers for the Ai-Cham in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Ai-Cham
People Name in Country Ai-Cham
Pronunciation eye-CHUM
Alternate Names Atsam; Jiamuhua; Jinhua
Population this Country 3,100
Population all Countries 3,100
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 0  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 10195
ROP3 Code 100146
ROP25 Code 300138
ROP25 Name Ai-Cham
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 19  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 2,300 Ai-Cham people inhabit 13 isolated villages in southern Guizhou Province, near the Bouyei and the Baonuo people. Hidden away among the never-ending range of mountains and the gushing rivers of Guizhou, the majority of Ai-Cham are concentrated near the towns of Di'e and Boyao in Libo County.   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 19  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 2,300 Ai-Cham people inhabit 13 isolated villages in southern Guizhou Province, near the Bouyei and the Baonuo people. Hidden away among the never-ending range of mountains and the gushing rivers of Guizhou, the majority of Ai-Cham are concentrated near the towns of Di'e and Boyao in Libo County..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.50 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
97.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Ai-Cham (3,100 speakers)
Language Code aih   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Di'e
Dialect Code 6770   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Ai-Cham (3,100 speakers)
Language Code aih   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Di'e
Dialect Code 6770   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Ai-Cham

Primary Language:  Ai-Cham

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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