Ancient Christianity

It is 8 AM and the office of V.E.T. Net fills with praise and worship songs in the Mongolian language. It is a call to worship that happens Monday through Friday at V.E.T. Net. The talented V.E.T. Net musicians lead the team as we prepare for the morning devotion.

This morning was a special one for us, as Professor Bolormaa was leading the devotion. She is on faculty in the History Department at the Mongolian Technical University, and her specialty is the history of Christianity in Central Asia. Her Department has just finished a documentary titled “On a Quest for the Holy Book.” We were able to see a trailer of the video, which is currently being released. The documentary is in the Mongolian language, but there are plans to add English subtitles.

According to the documentary, in 330 AD Byzantium was renamed Constantinople and was made the new capital of the Roman Empire. Missionaries were sent east, and Mongolia was exposed to the faith as early as the 6th century. Over the years, as we have traveled across this expansive nation, we have seen very interesting statues and monuments left from the Turkish influence. There are ancient artifacts in multiple provinces across the country with evidence that Christians were here. There are many crosses etched in stone, monuments with crosses, and even some places with Bible verses.  In Hovd Province, Munkh-khairhan County, is a rock with a cross and Psalm 68:5b etched in the Syriac language – “God whose dwelling place is holy.”

One of the common things we hear from Mongolians is that they believe they should continue to worship their traditional religion of Buddhism. What this documentary proves is that Christianity was here long before Tibetan Buddhism. And, thankfully, many Mongolians are now coming (returning?) to Christianity.  Praise God.