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Christianity in mongolia

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  • 1. Christianity in Mongoliaafter socialismBYAMBAJAV DalaibuyanHokkaido UniversityThe 1st SEFM International Workshop onSocial Change and Religious Transformation in East AsiaMarch 2-3, 2013 Hokkaido University1
  • 2. The religious situation in Mongolia Systematic religious repression during socialism (1924-1989)• Approximately 36000 people (of which nearly half weremonks) were arrested and executed during the 1930s.• Monasteries were destroyed and properties were seized• Anti-religious propaganda – religion as “an opiate of theoppressed masses” --- high cost of religious belief, systematiccompulsory atheist education, and surveillance Consequences of forced secularization:• Many citizens hid their religious beliefs and some peoplepracticed in private spaces• Distortion of religious education and culture --- religiousbeliefs, but no knowledge --- much confusion 2
  • 3.  The revival of religion after 1990• The new constitution of 1992 guaranteed freedom of religionand belief. The 1990s witnessed a resurgence of religion.• Buddhism was restored and its religious practices re-emergedwidely. Shamanism re-emerged, as well.• Mongolia became new territory for Western missionaries. TheBible was published in Mongolian in 1990, and Christianmissionaries began to establish their churches.Source: the Mongolian Academy of Sciences 1989 and 19943
  • 4.  Officially registered religious organizations by 2010• 254 Buddhist monasteries and organizations• 198 Christian, 44 Islamic, 7 Shamanic, 5 Bahaist and 3 non-classified religious organizationsGandantegchilen monastery in UB Dashchoilin monastery in UB Amarbayasgalant monasteryThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsIslamic mosque in Western MongoliaShamanic rituals4
  • 5.  Religious self-identificationReligion Number of people(older than 15)PercentBuddhism 1 009 357 53.0Christianity 41 117 2.1Islam 57 702 3.0Shamanism 55 174 2.9Other 6 933 0.4National Census of Mongolia 20105
  • 6. The developmentof Christianityin Mongolia1990 1992 1995 1998 2000 2003 2006 2010 2013• Missionariesfrom SouthKorea and othercountries• First churches• Welfare services• The Bible• Mongolianpastors• TheologicalCollege• A pro-ChristianTV channel• Charityorganizations• MongolianEvangelicAlliance• Languageschools• Care centers• Bibletranslations• PresbyterianTheologicalCenter• A pro-ChristianFM radiostation: FamilyRadio• Publishing• Celebration ofthe 20thanniversary• Bookstores• Associations ofbelievers• Christian elites6
  • 7.  Christian population in MongoliaYear Number of Christians Percent1990 10-20 0,01992 1500-2000 0,11998 5000-7000 0,32008 40,000-60,000 2,1Mongolian Evangelic Alliance: 100,000 Christians in Mongolia by2012 and 10% of population by 20207
  • 8.  Evangelic Protestants• Evangelic Alliance: 396 localchurches and gatherings, 47 NGOs• Two theological colleges educate Mongolian pastors• Cooperation with South Korean and other Christian churches• Dependence on foreign funding, but increasing local capacity• Different denominations and scopeUB Mission Church World Harvest Church Selenge Light and Salt Church8
  • 9. “the only local, terrestrial TV station on theAsian continent fully dedicated to advance Faith& Freedom.” Protestant church`s strategies of conversion9
  • 10.  The Church of Latter-Day Saints• Began in 1993• 30 local branches• 160 missionaries (as English teachers), all male• Humanitarian activities through the Deseret CharitiesInternational• No cooperation with other Christian groupsThe Church of Latter-DaySaints in UBBranch church in Selenge 10
  • 11.  Roman Catholics• Began in 1992• 100 missioners from 20 countries• Bishop and 4 cathedrals, gatherings, care centers, schools,• Vatican Representative Office, Caritas InternationalSts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in UB Bishop Padilla is performing thezolgokh greeting with khadag11
  • 12. DevelopmentFactors Missionary strategies• Effective conversion strategies:- different channels, easy access, targets, and attractive• Legitimization strategies- religious tolerance during the Chinggis`s empire• Focus on key social problems and needs: family happiness,poverty, alcoholism, English learning, and social activities Social factors• Spiritual space left after the fall of state-socialism• Post-socialist economy of risk --- Church as a source of socialcapital and support• A sense of community in the time of individualism• Emergence of local role models 12
  • 13.  Analysis of previous survey dataGender * Religions Crosstabulationn=2047Buddhist Muslim Christian Other NoneGender Male Count 667 55 25 7 298% within Religions 40.8% 70.5% 34.7% 46.7% 49.2%Female Count 969 23 47 8 308% within Religions 59.2% 29.5% 65.3% 53.3% 50.8%Total Count 1636 78 72 15 606% within Religions 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%Asian Barometer Survey Mongolia 2005 & 200913
  • 14. ReportReligionsACTUAL AGEHow manyyears of formaleducation youhave received?Buddhist Mean 41.03 11.33N 1638 1637Std. Deviation 14.473 3.686Muslim Mean 42.33 12.06N 78 78Std. Deviation 13.295 3.101Christian Mean 35.32 12.22N 72 72Std. Deviation 12.742 2.903Other Mean 30.47 13.13N 15 15Std. Deviation 9.531 2.200None Mean 38.15 11.25N 606 606Std. Deviation 13.778 3.386Total Mean 40.11 11.38N 2409 2408Std. Deviation 14.283 3.572Asian Barometer Survey Mongolia 2005 & 2009 Religions * Actual age * Educationcrosstabulation14
  • 15. Survey on the socialbackgroundand valuesofMongolianChristians(Dec 2012-Feb2013) Part of Professor Sakurai`s comparative research on religiousculture in East Asia. Pioneering research on Christianity in contemporaryMongolia Research methodology• Self-administered questionnaires• Pilot survey and revising wording (added questions)• Ask pastors and fathers to select and ask church members toparticipate in the survey (15-20 participants from 25 churches)• Provide instructions for selecting participants within churches(proportional to age and gender of church members) Mongolian partner Dr. Bolduukhai Oyun-Erdene (UlaanbaatarUniversity)15
  • 16. • Survey areas441/388 = 87,9%45-60 participants from provinces 16
  • 17. • Churches in ger districts• Churches in apartmentdistricts17
  • 18. Preliminaryobservations• Local community of Mongolian Christians• Increasing participation of middle-class Mongolians• Family bonds and influence• Local economic capacity and the decline of foreign funding• Information and research needs• Self-reflection and capacity building• Missionary works abroad (Tibet and North Korea)Q: What path will the development of Christianity in Mongoliafollow?Thank you for your attention18