Yunnan Dedicates New Church

By Yi Yang, December 05, 2017 07:12 AM

Shilin Church

On November 26, 2017, a new church was dedicated in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Kunming, Yunnan.

The 1,070-square-meter building can accommodate over 1,000 people with a floor space of 2,100 square meters (0.51 acres).

The local Yi people, the largest ethnic minority in Yunnan, believe in folk religions like primitive natural religion and Bimoism,  the indigenous religion of the Yi people.The primitive religions included worshiping nature, ancestors, and idols, as well as Bimo culture.

Christianity was preached by foreign missionaries in the county in 1925. Before 1949, there were five churches and 271 believers (including Christians in some areas of Yiliang County). Shortly after the communist revolution, the county had one church with five staff members and 195 Christians. However, the church was demolished and all the Christian services were halted during the Cultural Revolution.

After 1978, the gatherings were resumed and Christianity grew quickly. 

An investigation carried out by the county's bureau of religious affairs in 1994 showed that most of the local Christians were Han people. In 1996, there were more than 200 Christians, the majority of whom were new converts. Currently, the number of local Christians reaches about 1,000 and most of the new members are young and middle-aged women.  

- Translated by Karen Luo

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