Christianity Today wrote an article on Mongolian evangelicalism, quoting Mongolians who said: “The number of Christians has plateaued and even decreased”. It shared their concerns about syncretism which “is deeply engrained in Mongolian culture […] Some see Jesus as one more god to add to the list—as long as he is useful. And if God doesn’t answer a prayer, maybe a Buddhist lama or a shaman will provide better help.” PRAY
Pope Francis visited Mongolia 1-4 September. Apparently two leading Buddhist requested on social media the Pope be welcomed warmly, as “it is the same faith”. Much of evangelicalism uses Buddhist terms for God (Burhan - Mongolians use this to refer to Buddha), heaven (divaarjin – meaning nirvana) and much else. Buddhist confusion is understandable. Evangelicals participated in the Pope’s interfaith meeting. Other evangelicals refuse to use Buddhist terminology, seeing it as ‘blasphemous” and have their own Bible. PRAY
A woman stall holder in Ulaanbaatar asked a customer, “Where do you work?” On hearing it was connected with the Bible she angrily said: “Jesus’ people” and asked why people did not leave Mongolians alone as they already had Buddhism. It was not Jesus, but unwise methods of evangelism which caused such offence. PRAY people will show Jesus in how they speak of him, how they relate with each other and in the message, they declare, that it will be the Bible message. (Bible Society of Mongolia).
Wonsan 1903, Pyongyang 1907 - 1910, both now in N. Korea saw the open confess of sin, first by missionaries, then church elders, then others. Vast numbers of Koreans professed faith in Christ. Then similar in Manchuria under Jonathan Goforth 1911 - 1927 and in China under Marie Monsen 1927 - 1937. Never did Mongolia, Siberia or Tibet have such in 2000 years. PRAY God will move in Mongolia, especially as many thousands watch evangelistic videos by Bible Society of Mongolia on YouTube. In Mongolia many felt Christendom brought them little, so now it is hard to evangelise and seriously interested people, scarce.
About 29,000 Mongols live in the area of Youngning, and follow Tibetan Buddhism. Though Mongolian in nationality, they have their own unique language and culture, different from the rest of the Mongolian peoples. Pray for Christ to speak directly to this people in signs and visions, and for conversions to take place.
There are an estimated 472,000 Buryat in Mongolia, primarily inhabiting the forested lowland regions along the Russian-Mongolian border. Buryat people are mostly Buddhist but also practice shamanism. Only two written gospels exist in the Buryat language, and there is only one known church, so there is much work to do. Pray for freedom from the alcoholism, violence and broken marriages which devastate Buryat communities.
The Khalkha Mongols number over 2.3 million within Mongolia. Many of these people are nomadic, living largely on mutton and dairy produce. They are famous for horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Pray that the Mongolian Church will grow deeper in its faith and support its own missionaries.
Tuvans inhabit a harsh mountainous region in the northern part of the country, near the border with Russia. There is a small number of Tuvan believers; pray for indigenous churches to be established in their communities.
With a population of 125,000, Kazakh form the largest muslim community in Mongolia. The complete Bible has been published in their language, but they may never have seen one. A large percentage of Kazakh yurts have satellite dishes, so pray for the TV programmes they watch to include those which explain the good news clearly.
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