Friday, April 26, 2013

Korean Nazarenes pioneer work in Mongolia


Korean Nazarenes pioneer work in Mongolia
Friday, March 22, 2013
Darkhan, Mongolia
Sunny and Lisa Um from South Korea are the first Nazarene missionaries to Mongolia, officially opening the Nazarene work in that country on May 25, 2012.

Led by Ghengis Khan, the people known as the Mongols conquered Eurasia and China, forming a vast empire that lasted 100 years before it broke apart in the 14th century and came under Chinese rule in the late 1600s.

Today, Mongolia is a country in Central Asia that is north of China and shares a border with Russia. The modern nation won its independence from Chinese rule in 1921 and installed a Communist government. In the 1990s, the country saw a peaceful democratic revolution and is now governed by coalition government and a parliament.

Religious freedom was granted in the constitution in 1992, according to the New York Times. About 60 percent of the 3 million people are Buddhist and about 40 percent claim no religion, according to the U.S.'s CIA World Factbook. The Times reports that Shamanism is a growing religious movement.

The Ums say that Mongolians are seeing expanding materialism, urbanization, shamanism, and development of important resources. There are about 600 Protestant churches organized in the country, 300 of them formed through Korean missionaries like the Ums.

For the past year, the Ums have been living in Darkhan, the second largest city in Mongolia, where they have been learning the language, which is similar to Korean. They plan to start a Bible study in their home. Although they are the first Nazarenes in the country, they work closely with other Korean missionaries for mutual support.

"We need others because it is a lonely place," they wrote. "We need a Nazarene family."

Fortunately, two more Nazarenes are on their way. A couple will be coming soon as volunteers to work in a university in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

"They are Westerners and will have a harder time being accepted," said the field strategy coordinator.

Universities in Mongolia are often hubs of international activity and are more accepting of Westerners. The new missionaries will be able to teach English to eager students, as English teachers are in high demand.
http://www.ncnnews.com/nphweb/html/ncn/article.jsp?sid=10000006&id=10012338

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