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Mongol, Alxa in China

Mongol, Alxa

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Mongol, Alxa in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
29,000 Kalmyk-Oirat Islam 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Mongol, Alxa in China

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The Alxa Mongols are a distinct people group. They are the only group within the Mongolian nationality in China to profess Islam as their religion. As one mission agency notes, "They do indeed qualify as a people group, because, like caste, the difference is great enough to prevent intermarriage or even interfriendship." A Chinese writer adds, "The customs of the Mongolians in this area, like the terrain, are quite different from that of the eastern part of Inner Mongolia." The Chinese call Alxa, "The Mongolia west of the Yellow River bend" - a reference to both geographic and cultural differences.

Alxa was the center of nomadic peoples such as the Hun, Wuhuan, and Qiang during the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC - AD 220). One scholar states that the Alxa Mongols and the Dongxiang of Gansu were originally part of the Jagatai khanate, "who flourished during the Yuan period. ... They were converted to Islam but were thereafter discriminated against by other Mongols who presumably resisted conversion. ... They were compelled to move eastward. ... When they reached Zhenfan they split into two routes. One group crossed the Helan mountains and went to Hetao where their descendants are today's Muslim Mongols of the Alashan [Alxa] West Banner."

The Alxa Mongols rely on camels for survival. There are an estimated 200,000 camels in the region - one-sixth of the world's two-humped Bactarian camels. Camel milk is not only used as drink but "is also fermented and made into an alcoholic beverage, cheese, butter and yogurt." Due to a horrific infant mortality rate in the past, the Alxa Mongols do not celebrate a child's birth until it is three years old."

The Alxa Mongols remain fervent followers of Islam to this day. Their faith constitutes their historical and ethnic identity as a people group.

There are no known Christians among the Alxa Mongols. Few have ever heard the gospel. Because of their social and religious isolation, they will probably be one of the most difficult people groups to reach in all of China.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-07-30
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:23 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 21,000 Muslim Mongols live in the West Banner of the Alxa League, in the western part of Inner Mongolia. The Alxa League is surrounded on three sides by the Badain Jaran, Tengger, and Ulan Buh deserts. The population of the entire Alxa League is only 150,000. The League covers an area of 270,000 square kilometers (105,300 sq. mi.), 60% of which is desert. The main Alxa town is Bayan Hot, which means "city of wealth" in Mongolian.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Mongol, Alxa
People Name General: Mongol, Alxa
Alternate People Names:
Muslim Mongols
ROP3 Code: 114224
Joshua Project People ID: 18604
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 29,000
Population all Countries: 29,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mongolian
People Name General: Mongol, Alxa
Ethnic Code: MSY41f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kalmyk-Oirat (29,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): xal    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam95.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(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: 1815-1996
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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 (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kalmyk-Oirat
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Mongol, Alxa in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mongolian     Asia, Northeast    
      Mongol, Alxa China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Mongol, Alxa in China          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kalmyk-Oirat  
    All Religions                              

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