Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol in Mongolia

Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol
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Anonymous  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
People Name: Kalmyk-Oirat, Western Mongol
Country: Mongolia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 269,000
World Population: 658,200
Primary Language: Kalmyk-Oirat
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.40 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mongolian
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Torgut language is a variant of Oirat, but speakers of the two groups can converse with relative ease. The Torgut are an ethnic subgroup of the Oirat. The Torguts speak basically the same language as the Oirat, but they view themselves as ethnically separate. They have been described as having a Tibetan religion, and a Mongolian language. Torgut history closely mirrors that of the Oirat. They migrated from Xinjiang to Russia, where they lived until 1771 when Russian pressure forced most Torgut to flee back to China. Thousands died of starvation or were killed and plundered by bandits on the return journey to Xinjiang.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Folk dancing is a favorite pastime of the Torgut. The bielgee, or "dance of the body," originated during the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty. Dancers express themselves by using their arms, legs, and other parts of their bodies in rhythmic movements.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although all Torgut claim to be Buddhists, many practice shamanism, an important element of Tibetan Buddhism. The black magic and secret arts of the Mongol shamans were vividly described 700 years ago, when Marco Polo challenged the Great Khan to become a Christian. He replied, "On what grounds do you desire me to become a Christian? You see that these sorcerers do what they will. When I sit at the table the cups in the middle of the hall come to me full of wine or other beverages without anyone touching them, and I drink from them. They banish bad weather in any direction they choose and perform many marvels. And, as you know, their idols speak and give them predictions as they ask. If I am converted to the faith of Christ and become a Christian these sorcerers, who with their arts and sciences achieve such great results, could easily compass my death."

What Are Their Needs?

The Torgut people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love. Pray that the Torgut people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project