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The Mongolian steppes are the last uncultivated territory for missionaries and evangelists. They try to spread their faith in a country that, after decades of communism, rediscovers its Buddhist and shamanistic roots.
Mongolia, wedged between China and Russia, opens its borders after more than seventy years of communism. A surge of missionaries and evangelists floods the country, in what may well be the last region unfamiliar with God’s word. De leegte en het woord portrays some of them. Matthieu Ndjeok Golime of the Congolese Congregation of Scheut, the American Baptist James Owenby, the Roman-Catholic Gaby Bamana, the very young Methodists Erin Eidenshink and Holli Vining, and the born-again Christian Mike Windle.
They all try to spread Christianity in this indigent and sparsely populated country. By teaching, by organising activities, by making house calls and by preaching. The surroundings also give them insight. Erin Eidenshink, for instance, admits she is just a 23-year-old girl.
Without passing judgement, filmmaker Floris-Jan van Luyn shows their tenacious efforts. People who do judge include a Buddhist monk and an amulet-draped rapper, who refers in his raps to the shamanistic roots of Mongolia.