More than 270,000 Naxi people live in northern Yunnan province. The majority are located in the Lijiang area at the foot of the majestic Jade Dragon Mountain. This 5,596-metre snow-capped mountain towers over the ancient town of Lijiang.
Today Lijiang is a favourite tourist destination for Chinese and foreigners alike. The wooden houses built in traditional style around picturesque courtyards now provide numerous guesthouses and restaurants for around ten million visitors each year.
The Naxi developed a system of 1,500 pictographs more than 1,000 years ago. In 1995, only three old men were said to be able to read the Naxi script, but nowadays hotels and road signs in the area are often written in Naxi pictographs and locals sell T-shirts adorned with Naxi script to the many tourists. Some 20,000 Naxi manuscripts appear in museums and private collections in China and around the world.
Visitors are also encouraged to learn more about the local ‘dongba' culture, whose religion has been "characterised by a fascination with power and wonder-working, and belief in a multitude of gods and demons who are manipulated with magic" (‘Operation China'). The number of Christian believers among the Naxi remains small and there is still an urgent need for spiritual breakthrough in the area.
Pray for spiritual breakthrough among the Naxi people who are held in bondage by the animism and demon-worship of their Dongba religion.
Pray that Christian tourists visiting the area will take the opportunity to pray on-site for the Lord's work in the lives of the Naxi.
Pray for families sent out by the house churches to work amongst the Naxi people. Pray that they will develop good relationships and have opportunities to share the Gospel.