Religious Changes in Mongolia

By: Narantuya Danzan  

In the 1990s democratic changes took place in Mongolia and the citizens have been granted the right both to worship and not to worship. With the democratic changes of the country Buddhism as the traditional religion revived but also many Mongols became converts to Christianity. Under socialism there was no Christian church in the country and none of Mongols was registered as a Christian. Christianity had a negative image among the populace. However, the number of Christian churches and organisations had reached to eighty in 2008, and it has doubled during the last decade. The number of clergymen and missionaries, which was estimated at 126 in 2008, had tripled by 2018. This study investigates why such pivotal changes in religion and religiosity have taken places within such a relatively short period in Mongolia. The paper also suggests reasons why some Mongols become Christians through analysis of published sources and the oral histories of Christian Mongols. The answers are complex but four possible reasons, including adaptability of teachings, value changes and nostalgia for ‘collectives’ or a togetherness are suggested here.

Christianity, Religious Changes,Value Changes, Mongolia
Religious Community and Socialization
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Narantuya Danzan

Associate Professor, Economic Studies, National University of Mongolia, Mongolia

I work as an associate professor for the Department of Economics at the National University of Mongolia. I teach introduction to statistics, qualitative and quantitative research methodology courses. My career also includes consultancy work for various governmental and non-governmental organizations e.g. the World Bank, ADB, UN agencies and Save the Children. My research interest is mainly focused on social changes since I obtained my PhD in Sociology at the University of Essex in 2005, and specialized in oral histories as well in qualitative research methods.