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Mongolia

Country snapshot

Capital: Ulaanbaatar
Population: 3,086,918 (July 2010)
Form of Government: Parliamentary Republic

Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated country, and one of its poorest, Mongolia embraced multi-party democracy in 1990. Economic growth, which has been hampered by corruption and political instability, is set to rise sharply from the exploitation of its vast mineral resources.

History of Christianity

Around 1271, Kublai Khan sent an official request to the Pope stating, "Send 100 teachers of the Christian faith able to clearly show that the law of Christ is best. If persuaded, I and all under my rule will become his followers." At the same time, he invited Lamas from Tibet to evangelize Mongolia. Tibet sent monks, but political fighting in Europe distracted the Pope from sending missionaries, except a few Franciscan and Dominican illiterate monks who arrived 10 years after the invitation.

Tibetan Buddhism first became fashionable in the thirteenth century among the Mongolian aristocracy, and a second wave penetrated the general population during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Small groups of sharing Christians arrived in Mongolia in 1817 (London Missionary Society), but by 1924, missionaries had still not planted churches and were no longer allowed in the country.

For most of the 20th century, Russian atheism and materialism had a profound effect on Mongolia, which resulted in a decline in the people’s commitment to Buddhism.

During the 1990s, Mongolia became more open to foreign development and investment, a move accompanied by a climate of tolerance towards the West and a desire for education and progress among the younger generation.

In 1990 there were only 40 Christians in Mongolia, but the Lord has blessed and an estimated 60,000 believers now live and witness for Christ throughout the country. The Mongolian Evangelical Alliance has a vision and strategy to see 10% of the population come to faith in Jesus Christ by the year 2020. The need is particularly acute in the countryside.

ACTS Training

ACTS International is working with the First Church in Ulaanbaatar in equipping indigenous church planters to plant 20 churches among the unreached by 2020.

 

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