Prayer Profile
The Chinese Mongolian of China

[IMAGE] The Chinese Mongolian are officially recognized as one of China's 55 ethnic minority peoples. The majority of them speak Mongol, or "peripheral Mongolian," which is a variant of Halh, but with clear Chinese influence. Various dialects of Monggol are spoken by nearly five million people in northern China.

In the thirteenth century, Genghis Khan formed one of the greatest empires in world history by uniting all of the nomadic Mongol tribes. His armies conquered all of Asia and European Russia. In the centuries that followed, the once mighty Mongol empire was squeezed between the growing Russian and Chinese empires. One-third of all the Mongols lived in what later became known as the Mongolian People's Republic. The remaining two-thirds lived in the Inner Mongolian region, an area that later became one of China's Autonomous Regions. Today, Mongols are spread all over northern China, especially near the border of Mongolia.

What Are Their Lives Like?
During the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Mongolian suffered at the hands of Maoist reformers. Those accused of being part of a separatist movement were tortured and killed. The Buddhist monasteries were vandalized and most of the Buddhist priests disappeared during that time. The Mongols carried out their traditional ceremonies in secret. Any display of Mongol culture could have been used by the Maoists as evidence of Mongol separatism. To wear traditional Mongol robes, rather that the conformist "Mao suits," was dangerous, and public meetings in the Mongolian language could not be held. This situation did not change until the early 1970's, when the Mongols were officially recognized as one of China's ethnic minorities.

Although some of the Chinese Mongolian have become city-dwellers and live in Soviet-style apartments, most of them are farmers living in rural areas. Their principal crops include barley, wheat, oats, corn, millet, and potatoes. A number of the Chinese Mongolian have continued to live as semi-nomads, migrating seasonally with their sheep, horses, cattle, and camels. They live in portable gers or yurts, which are round felt tents over lattice frames.

The diet of the Chinese Mongolian consists primarily of fat, meat, milk, and dairy products. Large amounts of fat and mutton are eaten during the winter, and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and sour cream are eaten during the summer. Their favorite drink is kumiss, which is fermented mare's milk.

The Chinese Mongolian traditionally married while they were very young. The girls were usually 13 or 14, and the boys were only a few years older. Today, couples usually marry while they are in their twenties or older. Sadly, the divorce rate is increasing among the Chinese Mongolian, and legal abortion is one of the primary methods of birth control.

The Chinese Mongolian enjoy sporting events such as horse races, archery, and wrestling. They also love music and folk dances.

What Are Their Beliefs?
The Chinese Mongolian were traditionally shamanists (believed 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 1500's, the Mongols were introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, and most Mongols converted to Buddhism at that time. During the Cultural Revolution, however, many of the Buddhist temples were destroyed. As a result of the Communist rule and Marxist teachings, about half of the Chinese Mongolian became either atheists or non-religious. A number of them have also returned to the beliefs of their forefathers. Obos, heaps of stones thought to be inhabited by local spirits, are still used as sites for performing rituals.

What Are Their Needs?
Inadequate medical facilities, limited water supply, and improper diet are all problems among the Chinese Mongolian. China is currently closed to Christian missionaries. Prayer alone has the power to break down the walls that separate the Chinese Mongolian from the Light of the Gospel.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the doors of China will soon open to Christian missionaries.
  • Ask the Lord of the harvest to raise up loving Chinese Christians who will share the Gospel with the Chinese Mongolian.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Chinese Mongolian through dreams and visions.
  • Pray that God encourage and protect the few known Chinese Mongolian Christians.
  • Pray that these believers will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with their own people.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that have kept the Chinese Mongolian bound for many generations.
  • Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Chinese Mongolian.
  • Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Chinese Mongolian by the year 2000.

See also the following Mongol Groups:
The Khalkha Mongol of Mongolia; The Dariganga of Mongolia;
The Northern Mongolian of Mongolia; and The Khalkha Mongol of China;

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Chinese Mongolian
  • Country: China
  • Their language: monggol (oirat)
  • Population: (1990) 3,074,800
    (1995) 3,250,500
    (2000) 2,419,300
  • Largest religion: Nonreligious 49.9%
    Ethnic religionist 40%
    Buddhist 10%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 1,625
  • Scriptures in their own language: New Testament
  • Jesus Film in their own language: None
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 6
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 1,301,800 (40%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 131,600 (4%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 1,170,200 (36%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 1,948,700 (60%)
  • Country: China
  • Population: (1990) 1,135,043,400
    (1995) 1,199,901,200
    (2000) 1,262,195,800
  • Major peoples in size order: Han Chinese (Mandarin) 67.7%
    Han Chinese (Wu) 7.5%
    Han Chinese (Cantonese) 4.5%
  • Major religions: Nonreligious 55%
    Chinese folk-religionist 17%
    Atheist 12.7%
  • Number of denominations: 42

© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center

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