Ben in China

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

Introduction / History

The Ben are one of several fragments of the original Mon-Khmer group many centuries ago. One author notes, "The Austro- Asiatics, including the Wa and Palaung [De'ang], spread over Yunnan before the arrival of the Dai and Yi. They were driven out of their original habitat by invaders, dispersed and split into the isolated groups which they are today." Originally the forests where the Ben live were occupied by bears, deer and wild pigs, but wild animals have now been largely hunted to extinction. Today most Ben grow rice and vegetables.

Although the Ben are a distinct people group, since the 1950s they have been officially counted as part of the Wa nationality. The Ben are not happy with this classification and unsuccessfully applied to be recognized as a distinct minority. Missionary John Kuhn was the first to document the existence of the Ben in 1945, describing them as "a Burmese tribe." The Ethnologue describes the Ben as an unidentified group living near the Achang. Another scholar lists the Ben as one of many small groups in China "which need further investigation." The name Ben may simply mean "indigenous people."


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Ben people live in a region abundant with natural resources such as coal, copper, iron, lead, and graphite. Young Ben men and women are free to choose their own partners. After the sun sets, a young man will go to the home of the young woman he desires and play musical instruments to win her favor. A few generations ago marriages were arranged by parents, which often led to misery for the younger generation.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ben are animists, although they also have traces of Theravada Buddhism from the influence of neighboring groups. Ben funerals are scheduled on Buddhist holy days. The funeral procession is headed by a Buddhist monk who walks at the front of the people and holds a long piece of white cloth tied to the coffin. The Ben people believe the monk is leading the soul of the dead person into the next life.

There are no known followers of Christ or churches among the Ben; however, many of the neighboring Wa have converted to Christianity. The Ben who, though numerically small, are an unreached people in desperate need of Christ.


What Are Their Needs?

The Ben people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Ben in China.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Ben
People Name in Country Ben
Pronunciation Ben
Population this Country 1,400
Population all Countries 1,400
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Ben Ren
People ID 18414
ROP3 Code 114008
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Ben are a small group, numbering approximately 1,100 people in several villages within Zhenkang and Gengma counties in western Yunnan Province. They live alongside the Wa and Lahu minority groups.   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Ben are a small group, numbering approximately 1,100 people in several villages within Zhenkang and Gengma counties in western Yunnan Province. They live alongside the Wa and Lahu minority groups..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Wa, Vo (1,400 speakers)
Language Code wbm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Wa, Vo (1,400 speakers)
Language Code wbm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Wa, Vo

Primary Language:  Wa, Vo

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2007)
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete Yes  (2012-2016)
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Wa, Vo
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Gospel resources links
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Wa, Vo
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
5.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
93.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
1.90 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more