Khik (Wakhi) in China


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Wakhi region in China was once the seat of the State of Hepant, which reached its peak of power between AD 420-589. A town in the southern part of Taxkorgan, called Kezikurgan (Princess Town), contained more than ten Buddhist temples - with a total of about 500 monks - centuries before the Wakhi were converted to Islam. In 1986, after 20 years of construction, the Karakoram Highway was opened, linking China with Pakistan and making contact between the Wakhi in the two countries possible after centuries of isolation. Marco Polo described the area when he passed through more than 700 years ago: "When the traveler leaves this place [Wakhan] he goes ... through mountains all the time, climbing so high that it is said to be the highest place in the world. ... No birds fly here because of the height and the cold. ... The inhabitants live very high up in the mountains."

The Wakhi have been combined with the Sarikoli to form the official Tajik nationality in China, but the languages of the two groups are very different.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Wakhi have a fond respect for eagles, who live in isolated and lonely mountains, much like themselves. The Wakhi live in extended-family households, with the oldest male serving as the head. With few exceptions, the Wakhi do not marry outside of their group. Before a wedding a price must be paid to the bride's family. The payment often includes livestock, clothing, and silver.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Wakhi have been Shia Muslims for centuries, they have retained many animistic rituals. They rely heavily on amulets to ward off evil spirits. The amulets are small boxes worn around the neck, containing bits of paper that have been written on by a Pir (Muslim cleric).

Swedish missionaries were active in the southern Xinjiang region during the 1920s and 1930s. Although they won more than 200 Muslim converts, no Wakhi or Sarikoli Tajiks were included in that number. There are no known Wakhi Christians in China or in any of the other countries they inhabit today. There is an effort to translate the Gospel of Luke into the Wakhi language.


What Are Their Needs?

Without the guidance of Christ, these people will be lost in this life and the life to come. They need someone to go to them as Christ-bearers.


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 Khik (Wakhi) in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Khmu in China
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/18878/CH


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

The Wakhi
Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

People Name General Khik (Wakhi)
People Name in Country Khik (Wakhi)
Pronunciation keek (WAH-kee)
Population this Country 14,000
Population all Countries 119,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Guhjali; Khik; Vakhan; Wakhani; Wakhigi; Wakhs; गुहजली
People ID 18693
ROP3 Code 103535
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 Wakhi live on both sides of China's remote border with Pakistan. Other Wakhi are located in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the 9,900 Wakhi comprise about one-fourth of the total Tajik population. They are concentrated around the town of Daftar and also in the mountains south of Pishan. In northern Pakistan the Wakhi inhabit the Khunjerab Valley. Khunjerab means "valley of blood," a reference to the gangs of local bandits who for centuries plundered caravans and traders passing through the area.   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 Wakhi live on both sides of China's remote border with Pakistan. Other Wakhi are located in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the 9,900 Wakhi comprise about one-fourth of the total Tajik population. They are concentrated around the town of Daftar and also in the mountains south of Pishan. In northern Pakistan the Wakhi inhabit the Khunjerab Valley. Khunjerab means "valley of blood," a reference to the gangs of local bandits who for centuries plundered caravans and traders passing through the area..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Map of Khik (Wakhi) in China Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Wakhi (14,000 speakers)
Language Code wbl   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Yasin
Dialect Code 18125   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Wakhi (14,000 speakers)
Language Code wbl   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Yasin
Dialect Code 18125   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Wakhi

Primary Language:  Wakhi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2001)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
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
General Gospel resources links
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Shia Imami Ismaili
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
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 Robertino Radovix - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Video Source Asia Harvest
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more