Mongolia, North Asia
Political Leader: President Nambaryn Enkhbayar
Religions: Other 45.6%, Shamanist 31.2%, Buddhism 22.5%, Christianity 0.7%,
Persecution Ranking: Not Ranked
Number of Terrorist Groups: None Listed
Acts of Terrorism: 1; Casualties: 1
Percent of Corruption: 72%
% of People in Poverty: 36.1%
Mongolia is a country typically classified as being a part of East Asia, although sometimes it is considered part of Central Asia, and the northern rim of historical Mongolia extends into North Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south. The geography of Mongolia is varied with the Gobi desert to the south and with cold and mountainous regions to the north and west. Mongolia consists of relatively flat steppes.
There were no known terrorist groups operating in Mongolia and no known bases of support. However, Mongolian government officials cited more than 6,000 kilometers of porous borders, easy entry for foreign travelers and poverty as conditions that terrorists could exploit and moved to increase awareness of terrorism and to consider new laws. On July 8, 2006, a law to combat money laundering and terrorist financing offenses was approved by the Mongolian Parliament. The Mongolian police, Ministry of Justice, and the General Intelligence Agency's counterterrorism branch all cooperated with the U.S. to willingly provide requested support. As a result of resource and technical limitations, however, law enforcement capacities, including those related to counterterrorism, remained modest.
Over half the population follow Buddhism or Shamanism or both. Mongolia has strong links with Tibet and most Buddhist Mongolians will try to visit Lhasa in Tibet at least once in their lifetime. Christians comprised only 0.7% of the population.
Challenges for Christians:
The constitution provides for freedom of religion, but the government limits proselytizing and some religious groups faced bureaucratic harassment or are denied registration.
- Pray for the Mongolian government to remain diligent in fighting terrorism and combat terrorist financing.
- Pray that terrorists would not be able to exploit Mongolia’s porous borders, easy entry for foreign travelers and poverty conditions.
- Mongolia used to be one of the most difficult countries for Christians to enter. Thank God that things are now a lot easier and there are around 4,000 Christians from around the world working in Mongolia.
- The number of Christians in Mongolia has grown rapidly. There may have been only 4 in 1989 and that number grew to 10,000 by the year 2000. Thank God for the growth of His church in Mongolia.
- The country is in desperate need of courageous leadership to begin to overcome Mongolia’s widespread poverty and unemployment. Pray for God to deliver Mongolia from these conditions, so that Mongolians will turn to Him.
- There are Christians meeting in nearly every one of Mongolia’s provinces. Pray for effective discipleship that helps people to understand the Bible and get to know Jesus personally.
- The churches are mostly made up of loads of young people together with a few grandmothers and grandfathers. Pray that these Christians would be equipped to tell their families about Jesus and reach other generations.
- Buddhism has a stronghold in Mongolia and much of this is rooted in even older traditions of using witch doctors and the occult. Pray that Mongolians would find total freedom in following Jesus.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, The World Factbook