Ben in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ben only in China
Population
1,400
Christian
Evangelical
Largest Religion
Main Language
Progress
Progress Gauge

Identity

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."


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 they have now been largely hunted to extinction. Today most Ben grow rice and vegetables.


Customs

The Ben 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 Ben youngsters. The Ben knew little of hygiene until recently. In 1956 bars of soap were first sold in the district. Many dissatisfied customers returned to the shop demanding a refund, complaining about the soap's awful taste!


Religion

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 believe the monk is leading the soul of the dead person into the next life.


Christianity

There are no known Christians 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.


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

People Name General Ben
People Name in Country Ben
Population in China 1,400
World Population 1,400
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Least-Reached Yes
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Ben Ren
People ID 18414
ROP3 Code 114008
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 33  (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 Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 33  (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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Ethnologue Language Map
Ethnolinguistic map or other map

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

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2007)
New Testament Yes   (1938)
Complete Bible No
 
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum of Bible Agencies
Gospel Go
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Wa, Vo
Film / Video The Hope Video
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Wa Common Language Translation
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
1.95 %
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: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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