Dong Rui Yu

Evangel Valley

Christian Community At FuGong

Since the British missionary Fu J.O. Fraser went “behind the mountain” to the Lushui region of Bijiang to preach Christianity in the year 1910, Christianity has been widely accepted by the Lisu and Nu people. According to statistics provided by local Religious Affairs Bureau, the county had 55940 Christians by August 30, 2015, accounting for more than 50% of the county’s total population.

The valley where the Fugong is located has become a veritable “Evangel valley.” The proportion of Christian population among the Lisu people (the main inhabitants of the Fugong region) is as high as 70%. In some areas the number is estimated to surpass 80%. In addition, the proportion of Christian population Nu is even as high as 90%. What would such a high proportion of Christian population bring to the local community? This is what the photo story seeks to explore.

The spread of Christianity in the southwest ethnic minorities has brought significant social and cultural changes. Western missionaries also created the Lisu characters that are still used today. In other words, whether in the villagers’ daily lives, or in the local cultural and social scene, the Christian presence in FuGong region is already a fact beyond doubt. It’s very rare for any region in China to have such a high proportion of Christian believers, and this explains why I choose the FuGong Christian community as my shooting subject.

Firstly, I personally have a strong interest in religious and cultural subject matters. Secondly, the Christian beliefs in FuGong, which are unique and comparatively isolated from other religious beliefs and customs in China deeply attracted me. Meanwhile, most of the outsiders are unfamiliar with their living conditions and I hope that more people will get to know the story of their lives through my photos.

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