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Tuvan, Uriankhai in Mongolia

Tuvan, Uriankhai

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Tuvan, Uriankhai in Mongolia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
42,000 Tuvan Buddhism 1.00 % 0.80 %   

Tuvan, Uriankhai in Mongolia

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Introduction / History
Tuvinians in Mongoloia inhabit a harsh mountainous region in the northern part of the country, near the border of Russia. There, the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are bitterly cold. Still, this region can have as many as 300 sunny days a year, and the extremely dry air helps people to withstand the cold winters and the hot summers.

Because Tuvinians, like other Russian settlers, left their home territories in the Soviet Union many years ago and immigrated to Mongolia; their present "national" status is disputed. Some Tuvinian clans in Mongolia have maintained their native language, ethnic background, and traditional culture. Other Tuvinian clans have been absorbed by the Mongolian culture. Their original language, Tuvin, contains many Mongolian words and uses the Cyrillic script. Most Mongolian Tuvinians also speak Halh, the national language of Mongolia.

What are their lives like?
Most Tuvinians raise livestock for a living. They also hunt and do a limited amount of farming. Oats, barley, wheat, and millet, are the principal crops raised. Recently, farmers from northern China have introduced Tuvinians to vegetable farming.

Many Tuvinians still live as nomadic shepherds, migrating seasonally with their herds. Those who inhabit the plains traditionally live in large felt tents called gers or yurts. Those in Siberia usually live in round tents made from bark.

The main industrial activity in the Tuvinian Republic is mining, especially for asbestos, cobalt, coal, gold, and uranium. Other industries include processing food, crafting leather or wood items, and manufacturing building materials.

The Tuvinian diet primarily consists of meat (mutton, beef, horse, goat, camel, reindeer, and wild game), fish, roots, cedar nuts, and dairy products. Tuvinians enjoy drinking airag (fermented milk) on special occasions.

In times past, Tuvinian marriages were arranged by the parents, and couples married when they reached the age of 12 or 13. Today, the minimum age for marriage is 18 and parental consent is no longer necessary. A young bride formerly lived with the husband's family, but today the couple's home is determined by their economic conditions. Divorce is common among Tuvinians and abortion is often used as a form of birth control.

The Tuvinian culture is noted for its rich, oral epic poetry and its music. Tuvinians use more than fifty different musical instruments, and traveling ensembles often perform outdoors.

What are their beliefs?
Tuvinians were traditionally shamanists (believed in an unseen world of gods, demons, and ancestral spirits) and Tibetan Buddhists. Today, one third of the Tuvinians are Buddhists, one third are shamanists, and the remaining one third are non-religious.

Tibetan Buddhism was first embraced by the Tuvinians in the 1700s. In the 1930s, the Soviets destroyed nearly all of the Buddhist monasteries, and all the monks were dispersed; some were even shot. Recently, however, a Buddhist community was officially registered in the Tuvinian Republic, and efforts are underway to rebuild a great monastery.

The influence of shamanism is still obvious among Tuvinians. Ceremonies are held on the seventh and forty-ninth days after someone's death. The soul is believed to remain in the body of the deceased for seven days, then depart for the "kingdom of the dead," reaching its ultimate destination on the forty-ninth day.

Tuvinians believe that all natural elements contain spirits that must be appeased with offerings. The people are dependent on shamans (medicine men) to cure the sick by magic and communicate with the spirits.

What are their needs?
Until Tuva become a part of Russia, very few of the Tuvinian men and none of the women could read. Perhaps Christian teachers will have open doors to work among the Tuvinians.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Russia and share Christ with Tuvinians.
Ask God to use Tuvinian believers to share the love of Jesus with their own people.
Pray that Christian radio and television broadcasts will be made available to Tuvinians.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Tuvinians toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will open the hearts of Russia's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among Tuvinians.

View Tuvan, Uriankhai in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-26
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-15
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Country: Mongolia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:North and west enclaves, Hovsgol Province, northwest Tsagaannuur and Ulaan-Uul sums, 2 areas of east of Hovsgol Nuur; Uvs Province, north and west of Uva Nuur, far north Tsagaannuur and Ulaan-Uul sums; Dzavhan Province, Dorvoljin sum; and Hovd Province, capital city area.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Tuvan, Uriankhai
People Name General: Tuvan
Alternate People Names:
Altai TuvaAltai Uriangkhai
ROP3 Code: 110333
Joshua Project People ID: 15668
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 42,000
Population all Countries: 313,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Ural-Siberian
People Name General: Tuvan
Ethnic Code: MSY41z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tuvan
Language Code (ISO): tyv    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Kalmyk-Oirat: Uriankhai (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism35.00 % 
Christianity1.00 %(Evangelical: 0.80 %)
Ethnic Religions30.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious34.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent30.00 %
Protestant40.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic30.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1996
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2011-2017
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tuva
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Tuvan
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tuvan, Uriankhai in Mongolia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Ural-Siberian     Asia, Northeast    
      Tuvan Mongolia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tuvan, Uriankhai in Mongolia          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Tuvan  
    All Religions                              

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