Mongolian religious history
Mongolia is a country of a unique symbiosis of various religions. Mongolians traditionally having professed polytheistic religion remain remarkably tolerant in regards to one’s faith and beliefs. Democratic principle of freedom of religion has always been ensured and guaranteed by the lifestyle traditions and mentality of people living in Mongolia. Shamanism is indigenous religion of Mongols. From time immemorial it has been practiced in Mongolia. Shamanism embraces a belief in powerful spirits who can influence people’s lives and fate. Today shamanism is on the blink of ceasing to exist with only few superficial rituals being practiced in some out of the away places. Buddhism of Mongolia Lamaism has many followers in today’s Mongolia. According to chronicles, Buddhism came to Mongolia round the 3rd century B.C as religion of the court. Between 6-11 centuries, many Buddhism sutras were translated into Mongolian and in the 13th century the very first Buddhist temples were built. Chinggis Khan encouraged Buddhism and Islamic devotions. Khubilai khan is alleged to have first confirmed a title of Dalai Lama from upon a Lama from Tibet. (Dalai Lama in Mongolian means a monk of immeasurable knowledge) The first Dalai Lama converted Mongolian King Altan Khan and his subjects to Buddhism in 1578. During the rule of Altai Khan the famous monastery of ErdeneZuu was built, which is now a popular tourist destination. In the Western part of Mongolia, Islam is professed by the Kazakhs. Today various forms of Christianity are being introduced by Western missionaries.