With a population of 11,590, the Oroqen people group is the third smallest of the 55 ethnic groups in Northern Asia.The ancestors of the Oroqen lived south of the Xing’an Mountains and north of Heilongjiang province. A Russian invasion of the area in the mid-1600s, followed by Japanese occupation in the 1930s and 1940s, drove the Oroqen deep into the mountains and forests of Northern Asia’s border region.

For generations, the Oroqen relied on their expert hunting skills for survival and lived in traditional tents called xianrenzhu. They covered the tents with birch bark in the summer and deerskin during the bleak winters, when temperatures sometimes fall below minus 50° Celsius (minus 58°F). In 1996 the Oroqen Autonomous County government banned the hunting of wild animals in order to protect species in severe danger of extinction. Now the Oroqen survive mainly by farming, although some of them are employed in forest protection, deer breeding, husbandry, and tourism.

Due to the massive migration of Northern Asia to the northeast hinterlands, the Oroqen are quickly assimilating into the mainstream culture.

Engagement // What’s Happening Now

There are very few believers among the Oroqen, Shamanism is the main religion which many practice. Shaman in Oroqen means “agitated” or “frenzied” person. Oroqen worship animals who they believe are blood relatives.* A few years ago, for the first time, gospel recordings were recorded in the Oroqen language and through the work of a partner ministry a breakthrough began and a few Oroqen became followers of Jesus.

Sustainability // The Bigger Story

Live Dead China focuses on reaching many of these people groups by planting communities of faith among them.

Visit Live Dead to join in reaching the Oroqen.

Partnership // Move Beyond

Please spend a few minutes in prayer for:

  • Pray for resources in the Oroqen language, currently, a full bible does not exist in their language.
  • Pray for the few believers among the Oroqen, that they may have opportunities to be light in the darkness.
  • Pray for more global workers to join in reaching the Oroqen.
  • Pray that the Oroqen, who have been pushed into the forest and forced to assimilate into another culture, would find a place in Christ.

Photo source: Joshua Project