Photo Source: Bernd Thaller - Flickr Creative Commons Used with permission
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|People Name:||Mongol, Khalka|
|Primary Language:||Mongolian, Halh|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||0.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||East Asian Peoples|
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 are the largest group of Mongols in Mongolia. In fact, they are the core of all the Mongol peoples across North Asia. The Khalkha Mongols consider themselves the direct descendants of Genghis Khan and therefore, the true preservers of Mongol culture. The Khalkha Mongols 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. Statistics have shown that Mongols who leave their homeland are more open to the claims of Christ than their brothers and sisters who stay behind. A few thousand Mongols have migrated to Australia in search of economic opportunities and a better life for their children. The primary language of the Australian Mongols is Halh within their families. They speak English with outsiders. A new translation of the complete Bible in Halh became available to Mongolians in 2015.
The Australian Mongols have adapted to the foods that Australians eat. This is in sharp contrast to the meat, dairy and fat diet of the natives of Mongolia. Khalkha Mongols traditionally married while they were very young. The girls were usually 13 or 14, and the boys were only a few years older. Today, Mongol Australian couples usually marry while they are in their early to mid-twenties; then they immediately begin having children. Mongolian parents encourage their children to obtain a college education. Urban Khalkha Mongols, especially those with a college education, tend to delay marriage until they reach their late twenties. Mongolian families frequently have four or more children. Khalkha Mongols love music, folk dances, chess, and sporting events. Every July, the ancient Naadam festival is celebrated throughout Mongolia. They love sporting events involving horse racing, archery and wrestling. Mongols living in Australia face the challenge of retaining their native culture and at the same time adapting to western society.
Khalkha Mongols 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, 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, over half of the Khalkha Mongols became either non-religious or atheists. Today, a number of Khalkha Mongols 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. A tiny group of believers now exists among the Australian Mongols.
The Mongols living in Australia need to see that Jesus Christ is not just for "White Australians." He is the Savior and Lord of the world. Nearly arrived Mongols need help in learning the English language and finding jobs and new skills. Their children need assistance in adapting to Australian schools.
Pray that God will open the hearts of Khalkha Mongol leaders in Australia to the gospel. Ask God to set Khalkha Mongols free from their bondage to occultism and Shamanistic beliefs. Pray that the doors of Mongolia will remain open to Christian missionaries. Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for Khalkha Mongols of Australia. Pray that Australian Christians will have opportunities to introduce Khalkha Mongols to the Prince of Peace.