Mongols pillaged and tore through Eurasia in the 13th century, leaving their enemies with no choice but surrender, and the name Genghis Khan rang throughout the world with a chilling pitch. The Mongol empire was established in the might and power of their leader. However, in the 14th century the empire broke apart and by the 17th century was ruled by the Chinese. It was not until 1921 that Mongolia gained independence with Soviet backing. The nation now rests between China and Russia, barren and marked with deserts and pastures. This empty landscape mimics the lack of national pride.
The 2008 global financial crisis dramatically effected Mongolia, as a steep plunge in commodity prices greatly reduced the government’s revenue. Severe weather has claimed over 20% of the nation’s livestock, thus doubling meat prices. Despite this, Mongolia has one of the world’s fasted growing economies. Sitting on untapped mineral wealth, Mongolia is attracting significant foreign investment and now has the second highest GDP growth rate in the world. In addition to traditional herding and agriculture, tourism is also key to the economy.
Lamaistic Buddhism has been on the rise since independence, and in 1989 there were only an estimated four Christians in the entire nation. Praise God that today there are over 40,000 Mongolian Christians! The Church is less than a generation old, and is already actively sending missionaries to unreached areas of their nation and operating ministries within Mongolia. It has proven difficult for foreign missionaries to adapt to Mongolian culture and the naturally harsh living conditions. Crime, alcoholism, and prostitution have led to suffering and exploitation within the country. The Church in Mongolia must become more united in order to tackle these tough social issues.