Though no longer under oppressive communist rule, the landlocked country of Mongolia is still plagued by poverty and spiritual darkness, according to an indigenous missions agency.
Gospel workers feel the urgency of the need to break through this darkness with the light of the Lord, reported Christian Aid Mission, generally considered as the first missionary agency to support and promote indigenous mission groups.
Christians currently make up less than one percent of the population of Mongolia. The dominant, and the only officially recognized religions are Buddhism, Islam and Shamanism. According to one of Christian Aid's contacts in Mongolia, this worship of many gods is the pivotal religion for most Mongolians.
The country's pantheon of Shamanistic deities comprises 99 altogether, Christian Aird reported. With this spiritual confusion comes moral decay.
Recent estimates indicate that nearly half of Mongolian adults are addicted to alcohol. Meanwhile, crime and domestic abuse are on the rise, as is prostitution, with an estimated 30,000 prostitutes in capital city Ulaanbaatar alone. Shockingly, "some men actually ask their wives to make a living in this way, one Christian leader writes. The need for Christ is enormous here."
Christian Aid reports that Gospel workers assisted by the agency are taking positive action to spread the Gospel in Mongolia. One of the most vital aspects of their ministry is Bible distribution and translation, Christian Aid stated. Through their efforts, a complete Mongolian translation of the Bible was produced years ago, and they are now working on translations in several of the country's dialects, which are spoken by nearly 10 million people.
In addition to these languages, Gospel workers have published Braille Bibles for the blind and recorded Scripture on CD's and tapes for those who cannot read.
The agency also reports that outreach to the blind of Mongolia has expanded to include a day center for the blind and training for schoolteachers on how to more effectively integrate blind children in their classrooms.
Gospel workers' efforts are producing fruit as hunger for the Word of God grows among some Mongolian tribes, Christian Aid said. Workers report that translations of the New Testament continue to sell out after 13 years of being in circulation. A children's Bible has sold over 10,000 copies.
Local churches are growing as well. Today, there are an estimated 25,000 believers in Mongolia.
As more Mongolians come to Christ, many are beginning to reach their own people for the Lord, the agency reported. Pray that He would use them as they work for Him. Pray for the continuing work of Bible translators and distributors.
Since 1953, Christian Aid has provided more than $50 million in assistance to more than 700 evangelistic ministries based in 122 "mission field" countries overseas. It has also served as a communications link between U.S. churches and native missionary ministries based in poorer countries overseas, especially those that are closed to missionaries from America.