Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol in United States

Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol
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People Name: Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,000
World Population: 658,200
Primary Language: Kalmyk-Oirat
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mongolian
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

In the 18th century many Torgut had to leave Russia for China due to persecution. A small of group Torgut have come to live in the USA. A New Testament in the Kalmyk-Oirat language became available in 2009. The JESUS Film is also available in their language. In their native lands, the Torgut are nomadic people who make their living by animal husbandry. They live in portable tents called yurts. They raise sheep, goats, cattle, horses and camels for their meat, milk and skins. The governments of Russia and China have pressured the Torgut to settle down in one place and work in agriculture, mines and factories.

Where Are they Located?

The Kalmy-Oirat or Torgut are a Mongolian Buddhist people who live primarily in Mongolia, China and Russia. A small number of them have migrated to the United States in recent years.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kalmyk who have come to the USA first have to learn English and put their children in local schools. The Torgut have obtained jobs in business, restaurants, factories, and in agriculture. Raising and riding horses is a major part of the traditional culture of the Torgut. Folk dancing, singing and music are customs that the Torgut in the USA do not want their children and grandchildren to lose in their new land.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Torguts in the US practice Buddhism, the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, who lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana or a state of freedom and salvation. The vast majority of Buddhists also practice animism, a belief in the spirit world. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Shamanism plays a large part in the Togut's religion. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature. The village shaman is able to manipulate theses forces to their advantage by using charms, magic, prayers, rituals and offerings.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kalmyk in the USA need to understand that only through Jesus Christ can their sins be forgiven. Christians who live near the Torgut can help them out in practical ways like helping them learn English, obtain permanent lodging and gain employment. The Torgut need to see that they can become believers and still remain Torgut in their customs and cultural identity.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to lead believers to befriend the Torgut and help them adjust to their new home country. Pray that the Torgut have the opportunity to watch the JESUS Film in their own language. Pray that the Torgut in the USA would be open to the claims of Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord raises up a disciple making movement among the Torgut people in the USA.

Text Source:   Joshua Project