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Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia (officially called Mongol Uls), referred to by Mongols since ancient times as "Blue Mongolia" because of the endless blue sky hanging over the rugged steppes. One of the oldest countries in the world and the fifth largest in Asia, its vastness is accentuated by its sparse population.

Team Vision

By faith, we see God glorified as we reach out to the people of Mongolia and disciple the Mongolian churches to be evangelistic, mature, and mission-minded.

Watch this Mongolia country profile video produced by Joint Christian Services International

Country & Ministry Profile

Mongolia is a landlocked republic between Russia and China in the heart of eastern Asia. Its history has been turbulently linked with China since ancient times. During the rule of the warlike emperors Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, the Empire stretched from Eastern Europe in the west to Korea in the east.

Kublai Khan requested religious teachers from Europe and Tibet to teach Mongolians the Christian and Buddhist faiths. The Mongols were greatly feared in Europe, and there was a considerable delay before any Christian missionaries were sent. In the meantime, Tibetan teachers had responded, and the Buddhist religion was integrated into traditional shamanistic superstition.

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.

We need Christians with a passion to live and work in Mongolia in order to assist in the discipling and training of the churches and their leaders. We also want to partner with Mongolians to reach out in mission beyond the borders of Mongolia to other parts of Asia.

Mongolia is part of the C-SEA (Central & Southeast Asia) Area.

Current SIM Ministry

SIM serves Mongolia primarily in partnership with the Joint Christian Services (JCS) community. The vision of JCS is to see Mongolians building and restoring families, churches, and communities. The JCS purpose statement is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the people of Mongolia by working with them to achieve their full, God-given potential through development, relief, and encouraging the planting, growth, development, and unity of indigenous churches. JCS members are Christians motivated by the biblical words, "Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." It is our hope that this love will flow through our work and life to Mongolians.

Most JCS participants are members of Mongolian churches and actively support many aspects of church life. They are involved in discipling individuals and small groups.

Christian radio programs from outside originally opened the "Mongolian door" to Christianity, but the churches that have subsequently been established are thoroughly Mongolian. Now an estimated 60,000 believers live and witness for Christ throughout the country. But only about 40% of Mongolia's 315 soums (counties) have any church at all. There is much work to do in partnership with Mongolians to plant churches in the countryside.

SIM acknowledges a great need for Christians to live and work in Mongolia to assist in discipling and mentoring church leaders. Mentoring is the priority "word" which the Mongolian believers use when we ask them, "how can SIM best serve Christ in this nation?" We see the need to holistically build churches, families, and communities through projects and placements with various government, community, and church partners in order to meet the mentoring need.

SIM also seeks to encourage the Mongolian churches to reach out and bring the Good News beyond the borders of Mongolia starting with places that Mongolians have a natural affinity—countries that have Mongolian diaspora.

Joint Christian Services

JCS International is a consortium of Christian organizations, with over 10 years' experience serving the people of Mongolia in mind body and spirit.

A group of mission agencies came together in the early 1990's to decide the best way forward for them to respond to God's calling their agencies to Mongolia. The eight founding members chose the consortium model JCS operates by today. Believing it is God's will, and responding to the prayers and fellowship of his people, JCS was constituted as an interdenominational body, with joint Mongolian and foreign participation by this group of Christian agencies in London, UK, on October 1, 1992.

Our international team of JCS represents about 20 nationalities, including Mongolian employees. Corporately, JCS is a member of the Mongolian Evangelical Alliance. JCS leadership serves on a number of boards in support of the development of the church and Christian community in Mongolia.

JCS has professional, qualified volunteers, ably supported in-country so they can work effectively. JCS operates a lean, but efficient, administration maximizing resources for service to Mongolia.

Over the years, JCS has worked in many sectors including agriculture, education, health, and business development. JCS operates its projects through partnership with Mongolian government ministries, local government authorities, foreign government humanitarian agencies, not-for-profit NGOs and INGOs, and companies. JCS has provided professionals, facilitating their placement, to work in cooperation with Mongolian organizations, such as the National Children's Center, The Mongolian Horticulture Society, The Mongolian Flour Producers Association, The Small and Medium Size Enterprise Federation, Mongolian Universities and Colleges, Bible/Mission Training Organizations, and The Mongolian Dairy Farmers Association. Geographically, JCS works in both urban centers and in countryside locations across Mongolia.

Our prayer is that people continue to join JCS to serve the people of Mongolia so that "JCS enables—making the way straight".

Scripture Availability

The Mongolian people have had a New Testament in their language since 1990 published by United Bible Societies. A complete translation, including the Old Testament and revisions to the New Testament, is in its final stages of checking by Wycliffe and UBS consultants and will be released shortly. The length of time taken to carefully complete this translation is 31 years.

The Mongolian Bible Translation Committee published a version of the New Testament in 1996 and the complete Bible in 2000.

Pray that Mongolian hearts would be prepared to read the Scripture in their own language and that the Holy Spirit would convict, encourage, and draw many people to Jesus Christ because of it.

History of Christianity

The Mongols are a very religious people. Genghis Khan said, "We Mongols believe that there is but one God by whom we live and by whom we die."

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.

Things changed in 1990 when Mongolia politically reopened to the global community. The church failed to respond in the thirteenth century and failed again at the turn of last century without planting a single church. But today, Mongolians respond to Christianity in positive ways as they see how the love and forgiveness of Jesus can transform their lives, families and communities.

Many churches in Mongolia are now registered with the government. According to a Hong Kong-based representative of the Southern Baptists—the Southern Baptist being the first denomination officially recognized by the Mongolian government—most church groups have now resumed evangelistic activities in the three main cities of Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet and Darhanwith.

Today, congregations exist in all of the provinces and the Mongolian church is actively spreading. Our consortium is also committed to training church leaders.

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