Han Chinese, Hakka in Timor-Leste

Han Chinese, Hakka
Photo Source:  婷 尹 - Pixabay 
Send Joshua Project a map of this people group.
People Name: Han Chinese, Hakka
Country: Timor-Leste
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 800
World Population: 44,249,100
Primary Language: Chinese, Hakka
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 32.00 %
Evangelicals: 6.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Chinese
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Hakka, although proud of their cultural differences, have never claimed to be non-Chinese. Many famous Chinese have been Hakka, including Deng Xiaoping, Lee Kwan Yew, and Hong Xiuquan (the leader of the Taiping Rebellion).

There is much speculation concerning the historical roots of the Hakka. Some claim that they were the first Chinese people to arrive in China. Others claim that the Hakka are the descendants of the Xiongnu tribe. This much is agreed upon: At various stages between the fourth and thirteenth centuries AD, large numbers of people were forced to flee their homes in the war-torn Yellow River valley to seek refuge in southern China. These war refugees came to be known as Kejia - a Hakka word meaning "strangers" or "guests." When the savage Mongol hordes swept across China in the thirteenth century, many Hakka fled to the south to escape the carnage.

In today’s world, the Hakka are among the Chinese diaspora in many countries including East Timor.

The Hakka and other Chinese minorities have a long history in East Timor. In the 10th century there were Chinese in East Timor exporting sandalwood to China. The Hakka and other Chinese peoples traded porcelain, glass and silver for sandalwood. In the 17th century they were among the Chinese traders competing with the Dutch and the Portuguese. Hakka traders continued their work in East Timor until 1976. The PRC re-established trade ties with East Timor in 2002.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Of the Chinese in East Timor, the Hakka are the most prominent. Their Hakka language is different than it is in China since they use loan words from Portuguese and Bahasa. They continue to work as traders and businessmen.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Hakka adhere to traditional Chinese religion. This can include aspects of Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Commonly they worship the spirits of their ancestors, believing these spirits can affect their future and their fortune. Therefore, they make offerings and build shrines and altars in their honor. About a third of the Hakka Chinese in East Timor are Christian, usually Roman Catholic.

What Are Their Needs?

Hakka Chinese Buddhists in East Timor need the chance to hear that Jesus Christ offers life to the full for those who will submit to his lordship.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to enable and thrust out loving workers to the Hakka Chinese in East Timor.

Pray for the Hakka to have receptive hearts to the things of Christ.

Pray for Hakka church planters to train others to plant more churches and make disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project