Lemo in China

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

Introduction / History

The Lemo say they were once great hunters who fed their families by killing wild game in the mountains. These days most Lemo are agriculturists, although the men still possess bows and arrows, and swords. Since the government's inclusion of the Lemo under the Lisu minority - a classification the Lemo strongly disagree with - their identity as a distinct people group has gradually eroded. Neighboring people, who are forced to believe China has only 55 minority nationalities, now call them Lisu. This has resulted in some comical situations. When several researchers visited the Lemo in 1997, they asked at the home of a Bai man, who said he had never heard of such a group. They then knocked on the door of another home about 20 feet away. The family who lived there excitedly said they were Lemo, and all the people in that particular village were Lemo except the Bai home they first visited!

The Lemo may be an ethnic group who developed as the result of intermarriage between the Tai Mao and Lisu. Francis Ward, writing in 1913, described them as racially mixed people who spoke and dressed like the Chinese. Today, the Lemo still see themselves as different from surrounding communities, and they still wear their own spectacular ethnic dress. The Chinese authorities have included the Lemo as part of the Lisu nationality.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In the 1950s the Lemo were the focus of a government crop project. Due to irrigation and the use of 72 tons of manure per hectare, grain output dramatically increased from 100 kilograms (220 lb.) to 1.25 tons (2,750 lb.) per capita. In addition to agriculture, many Lemo are engaged in fishing and hunting.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Lemo people, especially the elderly, are Theravada Buddhists. They believe in ghosts, deities and the existence of good and evil spirits. If someone dies from an accident it is considered impure and a bad omen. Nine grains of rice (seven for women) are placed in the mouth of the deceased to appease the spirit of death.

Although the Lemo live in a strong Christian area which contains thousands of Lisu, Nu, and Han Chinese believers, there are no known Christians among the Lemo. The Lemo's strong belief in Buddhism and their isolated cultural mind-set have prevented them from accepting the gospel from their neighbors.


What Are Their Needs?

Without the guidance of Christ, these people are like sheep without a shepherd. They need the good shepherd in their families and communities.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.


Scripture Prayers for the Lemo in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Lemo
People Name in Country Lemo
Pronunciation Lee-mo
Population this Country 2,700
Population all Countries 2,700
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Lai Mo; Laimo; Lu-k'ou
People ID 18545
ROP3 Code 114162
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 More than 2,000 people who use the ethnic name Lemo live in the small town of Lemo, 78 kilometers (48 mi.) from Liuku Township in western Yunnan Province. The Lemo live along the Nujiang River, near the mountainous China-Myanmar border and close to communities of Lisu and Nu people.   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 More than 2,000 people who use the ethnic name Lemo live in the small town of Lemo, 78 kilometers (48 mi.) from Liuku Township in western Yunnan Province. The Lemo live along the Nujiang River, near the mountainous China-Myanmar border and close to communities of Lisu and Nu people..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Chinese, Mandarin (2,700 speakers)
Language Code cmn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Chinese, Mandarin (2,700 speakers)
Language Code cmn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Chinese, Mandarin

Primary Language:  Chinese, Mandarin

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1864-1986)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1857-1981)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1874-2018)
Bible-NT Audio Online
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 Christ for the Nations
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Theravada
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
60.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
39.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
1.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
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