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Meaning: Valuable Province
Protestant Population: 500,000 (1.4%)
House Church Activity Level: Medium
Official Bible Schools: none
Guiyang: Pop. 2,186,864
Liupanshui: Pop. 1,958,538
Xingyi: Pop. 652,627
Zunyi: Pop. 456,355
PHOTO 1. Samuel Pollard was a British Methodist missionary who worked among China’s minorities for 27 years. When revival broke out among the Big Flowery Miao, Pollard moved to Shimenkan in northwest Guizhou. He developed a written script for them and saw their church grow to over 10,000 by the time he died of typhoid in 1915 at age 51. Pollard married Emmie Hainge in Chongqing on Dec. 4, 1891, and they are pictured here with their oldest son.
PHOTO 2. Alfred and Rose (Piaget) Bosshardt, CIM missionaries, were taken by the 6th Red Army in Guizhou on Oct. 1, 1934. Rose was released shortly, but Alfred traveled 2,500 miles on the Long March during his 560 days of captivity. In 1987, Gen. Xiao Ke, Alfred’s captor, sent him a book inscribed “to an old friend of the Chinese people”.
KEY PRAYER POINTS
1. Pray for racial barriers to be overcome and for Miao Christians
to be able to reach the Han Chinese in the Gateway Cities.
2. Pray for the power of animism and superstition to be broken among the Dong, Bouyi and other minority peoples as has happened among some Miao groups.
3. Pray for Christian professionals looking for creative ways to minister to unreached peoples in Guiyang and other places in Guizhou.
General situation. Guizhou is a very poor, mountainous, landlocked province. Rice and maize are the main crops, but alcohol and tobacco produce the most cash and cause major social problems. Prostitution is also prevalent, both in urban areas like Guiyang and at major tourist sites like Huangguoshu (Yellow Fruit Tree) Falls, China’s largest waterfall. Guizhou’s population is 37% minority peoples. Nearly half of China’s 9.5 million Miao live in Guizhou and make up 11.6% of the province’s population.
Provincial Church History. Charles
H. Judd and James F. Broumton (CIM) moved to Guiyang in 1877 and became the
first Protestant missionaries to live in Guizhou. The CIM’s William Fleming
and the first Black Miao convert, Pan Xiushan, were martyred in Guizhou on November
5, 1898, and dozens of other Miao Christians were martyred during the Boxer
Uprising. The Big Flowery Miao (called A-Hmao in Operation China) turned to
Christ in great numbers in the first two decades of the century under the ministry
of British Methodists Frank Dymond and Samuel Pollard (see photo). By 1920 Guizhou
had 5 agencies, 16 mission stations and 45 foreign workers and 207 Chinese workers
serving 9,446 believers. The call to work among Guizhou’s minority people
inspired Bian Yunbo in 1948 to write “To The Unsung Evangelists—My
Brothers”, a beloved song which continues to inspire young Chinese Christians
to commit their lives to world missions.
When the new government took power in 1949, Guizhou may have had about 40,000 Protestants . Intense persecution followed, especially among the Miao in the Shimenkan and Weining areas. Miao Pastor Wu Guoji spent over 20 years in prison. During the Cultural Revolution, on July 28, 1974, a Miao evangelist from Shimenkan and his two sons were forced to commit suicide. In March 1978 when Miao in Xiaoshiqiao village refused to renounce their faith in Christ, 200 armed militia carried all the men to jail after trussing them up like pigs, and the village chief served one year of a seven-year sentence. Although one mainland scholar who had studied Samuel Pollard’s work wrote in 1992 that there were few believers left in Shimenkan, a recent visit to the area by a foreign researcher found Miao believers with a vibrant faith. One estimate is that 80% of the Big Flowery Miao are believers.
Current Church Situation. The
church in Guizhou has grown at least ten fold in the last half century, and
there are now perhaps 500,000 Protestants there. The vast majority of these
are Miao, Yi and other minorities. Guizhou is the primary home for 77 minorities,
and 66 (86%) are still unreached. Han Chinese in the major Gateway Cities are
likewise still largely unreached. Contacts between house churches and foreign
Christians are closely watched. Foreigners were expelled from Guiyang in 1997
and again in 1999, and local believers have been fined after accepting their
tracts. Cults are preying upon uneducated believers, often promising rewards
for those who sell their homes and turn the money over to these wolves.
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