Mongol, Khalka in Mongolia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Khalkha are the largest group of Mongols in Mongolia. In fact, they are the core of all the Mongol peoples across North Asia. The Khalkha Mongol consider themselves the direct descendants of Genghis Khan and therefore, the true preservers of Mongol culture.

In the thirteenth century, Genghis Khan formed one of the greatest empires in world history by uniting all of the nomadic Mongol tribes. During the centuries that followed, the once mighty Mongol empire was squeezed between the growing Russian and Chinese empires. In the early 1920s, Mongolia became a Marxist state until its quiet democratic revolution in 1990.

The Khalkha Mongol consider their language, Halh, to be the "real" Mongolian language, since all other Mongols speak variations or dialects of Halh. Halh is understood throughout Mongolia and by Mongols living in Central Asia.

Mongolia was once one of the most closed countries in the world, but is now relatively open to outside influence, including Christianity.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There is a large population of Khalkha Mongol nomads. They live in herding camps and migrate seasonally with their animals. Their housing takes the form of portable gers, which are round felt tents that have brightly painted wooden doors. The nomads raise horses, cattle, and sheep and migrate four or five times a year in search of fresh pastures.

Some of the Khalkha Mongol are now settled farmers who live and work on the "collective" (community) farms. Those who live in the cities, occupy Soviet-built apartment complexes. Many of them have found jobs in industry, mining, or transport.

Due to the harshness of the climate in Mongolia, the Khalkha Mongol diet consists primarily of fat, meat (mainly mutton), milk, and dairy products. Large amounts of fat and mutton are eaten during the winter, and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and sour cream are eaten during the summer. Their favorite drink is airag or kumiss, which is fermented mare's milk.

The Khalkha Mongol traditionally married while they were very young. The girls were usually 13 or 14, and the boys were only a few years older. Today, couples usually marry while they are in their early to mid-twenties; then they immediately begin having children. Urban Khalkha Mongol, especially those with a college education, tend to delay marriage until they reach their late twenties. Birth control is discouraged in Mongolia. Families with six or more children are given financial benefits.

The Khalkha Mongol love music, folk dances, chess, and sporting events. Every July, the ancient Naadam festival is celebrated throughout Mongolia. Sporting events are held in horse racing, archery, and wrestling.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Khalkha Mongol were traditionally Shamanists (belief in an unseen world of gods, demons, and spirits). The people depended on shamans (medicine men) to cure the sick by magic, communicate with the gods, and control events.

In the late 1500s, the Mongols were introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, and most Mongols converted to Buddhism at that time. By 1900, more than half of Mongolia's males were serving as priests in Buddhist monasteries. However, as a result of an anti-religious movement launched by the Marxist government in the 1930s, about three-quarters of the Khalkha Mongol became either non-religious or atheists.

Today, a number of Khalkha Mongol have returned to the beliefs of their forefathers. Shamans are once again called upon to cure the sick or alleviate evil spirits through divination, oracles, and astrology. A combination of Buddhism and Shamanism has survived, especially among the elderly. Obos, heaps of stones thought to be inhabited by local spirits, can still be seen on almost every hilltop.

What Are Their Needs?

Mongolia's distance from the sea and poor roads have contributed to a poor economy. One-third of the country lives in extreme poverty. Rape, murder, alcoholism, and violence are major problems in Mongolia's urban areas today. Many young people are also involved in criminal gangs.

Prayer Points

* Pray that Christian workers would have unity as they reach this large unreached people group for Jesus.
* Pray that the Mongol men would rise up to become strong in the Lord.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of the Khalkha Mongol government leaders to the Gospel.
* Ask God to set the Khalkha Mongol free from their bondage to occultism and Shamanistic beliefs.
* Pray that the doors of Mongolia will soon open to Christian missionaries.
* Pray that alcoholism, violence, and divorce will be wiped out.
* Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Khalkha Mongol.
* Pray that Christians will have opportunities to introduce the Khalkha Mongol to the Prince of Peace.

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-29
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-06
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-18
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-11-18
People Name General Mongol, Khalka
People Name in Country Mongol, Khalka
Population in Mongolia 2,036,000
World Population 2,165,300
Total Countries 11
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 40
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 3  (per
Alternate Names Bait, Bayad, Bayit, Hahl Mongol, Hanl, Khalka, Khalkha Mongol, Meng Zu, Menggu, Mongolian, Oirat, Southeastern Mongolian, Western Mongul
People ID 18605
ROP3 Code 114225
Country Mongolia
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Mongolia
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Mongolian, Halh
Language Code khk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Mongolian, Peripheral
People Groups Speaking Mongolian, Halh
Primary Language Mongolian, Halh
Language Code khk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Mongolian, Peripheral
People Groups Speaking Mongolian, Halh

Primary Language:  Mongolian, Halh

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes   (1979-1991)
Bible-New Testament Yes   (1990)
Bible-Complete Yes   (2003)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Building a Family of Love (
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mongolian, Halh
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Mongolian Ariun Bible, 2004 Edition
Text / Printed Matter Fathers Love Letter
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent *
33.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.70 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
37.00 %
0.00 %
1.00 %
27.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
76.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
5.0 %
18.0 %
Roman Catholic
1.0 %
Photo Source Charles Keen 
Map Source Joshua Project / GMI / IMB  
Profile Source GAAPNet: Updated original Bethany people profile 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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