Part 1 of 3
Join us over the next three weeks as we explore this fascinating people group, the incredible revival occurring in their midst, and their ongoing need for God’s Word and Christian material.
Numerous stories such as this have been trickling out of Southeast Asia over the last 60 years as the Hmong have been particularly responsive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of God’s Word. They Hmong remind me of the people of Athens in Acts 17; They are reaching for a God whom they do not yet know, yet know they need him and that he has the answers:
The Hmong’s story – and the reason why they have embraced the message of the Gospel and the Bible - is incredibly moving. It is like a modern day story of the above passage in Acts 17.
The Hmong (also known as the Meo or Miao in certain areas ) are a people group who form a sizable minority in the mountainous regions of southwest China, north Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Burma. The rich history of the Hmong can be traced back 4,500 years through both oral tribal tradition and written Chinese history  . Originating from the Yangtze plain of China, the Hmong were pushed out over hundreds of years through conflict with various Chinese rulers. As they were pushed southwest, most of the Hmong population settled in Yunnan province in southwest China and eventually the northern mountain region of Laos, Vietnam, Burma, and China. A sizable population of the estimate 9 million Hmong still resides in Yunnan province, China, to this day even as the Hmong began arriving in Vietnam, Laos and Burma during the 17th century, and in Thailand in the early 20th century. 
The Hmong divide themselves by ethnic affiliation (e.g. Black, White, Blue, Red, Flower, Clear Water, Mountain) with each subgroup differing slightly in language, lifestyle, and dress. How these names were arrived upon and used is not always clear-cut, but at times does correspond to the color of the ceremonial costumes.  Like many minority people groups in Southeast Asia, the Hmong are often labeled as barbarians in the countries where they reside. In many of these countries, the government works to keep them economically underdeveloped. Minority hill people are usually among the very poorest in very poor countries like Laos, Vietnam, and Burma; the Hmong, many of whom still live in mud huts with thatched roofs, are the very poorest of these minorities . The Hmong also tend to be more geographically and culturally isolated compared to other ethnic minorities as their villages are situated at higher elevations (above 1500 meters) to grow the mainstay of Hmong agriculture; Poppies and the production of Opium. The production of Opium as a cash crop is also a contributing factor to one of the greatest struggles of individuals in this people group – the addiction to Opium. This addiction, along with marginalization and ongoing persecution by governing authorities, has cultivated a deep hunger for freedom from bondage and the restored identity to their creator; the result has been a large turning of Hmong to the Christian Way, in what can only be described as revival. Numerous sources have estimated hundreds of thousands - perhaps even half a million Hmong turning to Christ. Yet because of their geographic isolation and persecution from the government, the need for Bibles and Christian material in this great turning to Christ is immense; Biblia Global and its partners are working to meet the need, and you can help by praying for our work and giving towards Hmong Bibles through our Bibles for Asia Project.
Next week, Part 2: The Hmong First Encounter Christ
 Retold from the Miao Messenger, Vol.6, No.1, Fall 1997, by Hattaway, Paul, “Hmong Daw”, Operation China, (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2000), 626.
 For a further discussion on what is the correct terminology (there is no consensus) see the following two sources:
Lee, Mai Na M., “The Thousand-Year Myth: Construction and Characterization of Hmong”, Hmong Studies Journal, 1 (v2n2, Spring 1998). Retrieved online 9/12/2015 at http://hmongstudies.com/HSJ-v2n1_Lee.pdf
Hattaway, Paul, “Hmong Be”, Operation China, (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2000), 625.
 Lee, Mai Na M. “The Thousand Year Myth”.
 Schliesinger, Joachim. Hill Tribes of Vietnam: Volume 2, Profile of the Existing Hill Tribe Groups (Bangkok: White Lotus CO, LTD, 1997), 81.
 Jaafar, Syed Jamal, “The Meo People: An Introduction”, in Farmers in the Hills; Ethnographic Notes on the Upland Peoples of North Thailand, Ed. Anthony R. Walker (Phoenix Press Son. BHD, Malaysia, 1975), 62.
 Cha, Ya Po, An Introduction to Hmong Culture, (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & company, Inc.,2010), 17, 20.
 Tapp, Nicholas. “The Impact of Missionary Christianity Upon Marginalized Ethnic Minorities: The Case of the Hmong”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. XX, No. 1, 1989, 93.