Mongolia: From 4 Christians to 100,000 in 20 Years

Mongolia: From 4 Christians to 100,000 in 20 Years November 1, 2014

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8 responses to “Mongolia: From 4 Christians to 100,000 in 20 Years”

  1. Rebecca, totally off topic. But, I just read Bergoglio’s List on my flight from Spain. Have you seen/ read it? Very interesting.

  2. This is actually a return of Christianity to where it had once been a significant and enduring presence. Most of central and eastern Asia heard the Gospel preached before much of Europe did; IIRC, there is evidence of Nestorian Christian presence in China (along with that of other “Western” religions such as Zoroastrianism) as early as the seventh century AD. And the religion, though it never became a majority anywhere east of the Roman lands, it became naturalized and lasted long. In 1291 or so, a Nestorian bishop of Uighur origin, Rabban BAr Sawma, born on the border of modern China, was sent to the West as an ambassador from a Mongolian King who had conquered much of Mesopotamia; he met the Emperor in Constantinople, the Pope, and the kings of France and England, and left a very interesting and often revealing memoir. A few years later, as the routes from Europe to China had been opened by the MOngols, the Pope nominated the first Catholic archbishop to Peking.

    However, Asian Christianity was soon after wiped out by two political disasters. in I think 1348, a nationalist revolution drove the Mongols out of China, and along with them the Christians, who were identified with their rule; and then, about 1400, came Timur Leng – Tamburlaine – probably the worst and most committed mass murderer in recorded history, who wiped out Christians, Moanicheans, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and any Muslim he disapproved of, from central Asia to modern Turkey. Christianity was eventually revved in China by the great mission of Matteo Ricci and his colleagues, whose learning so astonished the Chinese that they were once again williing to listen to their doctrines.

  3. Book by Nello Scavo, published last year in Italian but just now out in English. I posted a review at Amazon, the first, so it’s easy to find. Goes directly to what you said in your next post on missionaries.

  4. Thanks for this, Fabio. I was surprised that Christianity never made it there, but, it had. Very interesting.

  5. ABout Rabban Bar Sawma, with links to his records and ot other records of the Nestorian Church: – I think you will find it all fascinating. The miraculous survival of Nestorian records – when the church these days is reduced to a few hundred thousand people in Iraq and America – is a boon to historians. The Nestorians were the protagonists of most of this eastward expansion, although the Syrian Monophysites (“Jacobites”) were more succesful in India, where their descendants still live. Both the Nestorian and the Syrian churches have in the last few centuries had major schisms in the direction of Rome, and there are now Catholic Assyrian and Catholic Sirian churches with their own patriarchs, who are a part of the exotic and colourful Eastern delegations often seen at synods and other gatherings. In recent years, of course, the Nestorians and the Catholic Assyrians – as well as the local Orthodox and Armenians – have been those Christians whose sufferings in Iraq and elsewhere have reached our ears.

  6. Oh I missed this. Our adopted son came from Kazakhstan which is not far from Mongolia and they seem to have similar cultures. I hope there are Catholics there evangelizing. It didn’t say what Christian Churches, so when they generically say Christian I assume Protestant.