Lisu Church

Lisu Church is a Christian church of an ethnic minority of southern China, Myanmar, Thailand and a part of India. The Chinese government's Religious Affairs Bureau has proposed considering Christianity the official religion of the Lisu.

Christian missionaries had been working in the Lisu area since the early 20th century. The first to work among the Lisu, in the Yunnan province in China, was James O. Fraser with the China Inland Mission, who also developed the written Lisu language and the Fraser Alphabet, which today is officially adopted by the Chinese government. Writing and reading in Lisu has been mainly developed by the church. In some villages the membership of the Christian church comprises far more than half the population, as is told by local and provincial church leaders as well as published by Bin et al. in Chinese Theological Review 19 (2004). The Lisu Church has both the Holy Bible and a Christian hymn book in its own language.

The Chinese Lisu Church has training centers, training evangelists, in Fugong and Lushui. Lisu pastors are trained at the Theological University of Kunming. There is a great shortage of pastors in the Lisu churches, according to representants of the church in the area. The church is part of the official Protestant Church of China, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Sunday service in church is mainly in Lisu.

Christianity is thriving in the Salween River valley where the Lisu live 50 years after the death of missionary Isobel Kuhn. Of the 18,000 Lisu who lived in Fugong in 1950 - 3,400 professed faith in Christ. As of 2007 there are estimated to be 80-90 percent of the 70,000 making the same profession. In Yunnan it is estimated that there are between 100,000-200,000 total Lisu Christians. More than 75,000 Lisu Bibles have been legally printed in China following this explosive growth.

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