Xibe of Northern Asia

The Xibe (pronounced Shee-ba) number nearly 235,000 and are an officially recognized minority nationality in the People’s Republic of China.

The Xibe trace their origins to a hunting, fishing, and foraging group in Liaoning province bordering North Korea and Inner Mongolia. The Mongols dominated the Xibe beginning in the 13th century and forced them into permanent agricultural settlements.

In the late 1690s, the Manchu distributed Xibe soldiers throughout the country. This relocation process continued for the next 100 years. Many of the displaced Xibe people assimilated into the Han Chinese culture.

Today, the Xibe are actually two distinct people groups living on opposite sides of China nearly 2,000 miles apart. Each group has formed its own language, culture and customs. As a result, the two Xibe groups are often viewed as separate ethnolinguistic peoples.

The Xibe have always placed a high value on education. This is unusual among many Chinese minority people, who, for various reasons, often have a high level of illiteracy.

Prayer Points

— The Northeastern Xibe are mostly nonreligious in everyday matters, although some elements of ancestor worship and polytheism remain. More than three-fourths of the Xibe population has never heard the gospel. Pray that the light of Christ would shine on this unreached people group.

“For my eyes have seen your salvation

    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

a light of revelation to the Gentiles,

    and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).

— The Western Xibe have resisted efforts to convert to Islam. Pray that the Western Xibe would come to know Christ’s compassion through those who are called to minister to them.

“The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion” (Numbers 14:18).

bforsmanXibe of Northern Asia