Magazine

Jun 7, 2018

Mongolia’s millennial monks

Mongolia’s millennial monks

Buddhism is one of the world's oldest religions, but its fate in Mongolia now rests on very young shoulders.
The country's monasteries are increasingly run by millennial monks, the first generation to come of age after decades of religious repression under the Soviet system wiped out almost all Buddhist clergy.

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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The sun rises over the Buddhist Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Buddhist monks enter a ger, a traditional Mongolian tent, for afternoon prayers at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks arrive for an evening prayer recital session in the courtyard of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Senior Buddhist monk Lobsang Tayang steps out onto the terrace of the main temple at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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A young Buddhist monk yawns during a prayer session at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen ties his belt after getting up in his room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks play basketball at dusk outside the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 25, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen gets dressed after waking up at 7am in his room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks practise the recital of prayers at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks Temuulen and Batkhan Tuul get dressed after waking up in their room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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A Buddhist monk walks in a courtyard of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks eat lunch at the refectory of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks Temuulen and Batkhan Tuul are reflected in a glass cabinet as they study religious texts shortly after waking up in their room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Senior Buddhist monk Lobsang Tayang walks outside the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks perform a prayer ritual in a courtyard of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks Temuulen and Batkhan Tuul look at birds nesting under the roof of the main temple of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen attends a lesson at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Senoir Buddhist monk Said Lobsang Rabten oversees an evening prayer recital session at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Young Buddhist monks Temuulen and Batkhan Tuul perform 108 ritual prostrations in their room before going to bed at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter SEARCH "MILLENNIAL MONKS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A young Buddhist monk reads a prayer book during a recital session at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Senior Buddhist monk Lobsang Tayang poses for a picture at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks Temuulen and Batkhan Tuul walk in a courtyard of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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A young Buddhist monk recites prayers in a courtyard of the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Senoir Buddhist monk Said Lobsang Rabten instructs a young monk during a prayer recital session at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen watches a fellow monk blow a seashell as a call for prayers at Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Senior Buddhist monk Lobsang Tayang sits outside the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks leave afternoon prayers at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen recites a religious text from memory to his teacher Lobsang Tayang shortly after waking up in his room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monk Temuulen studies religious texts shortly after waking up in his room at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Young Buddhist monks play with a dog after two hours of evening prayers at the Amarbayasgalant Monastery in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 26, 2018. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Mongolia’s millennial monks
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Stars twinkle over the Buddhist Amarbayasgalant Monastery during a moonlit night in the Baruunburen district, Selenge province, Mongolia, April 25, 2018. Picture taken with a long exposure. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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