Due to recent terrorist activity in the Middle East by ISIS and other terrorist groups, Kazakhstan has imposed strict controls on all religious activities. This is having a negative impact on Christians, despite the fact that Christians make up a very small and peaceful percent of the country. Officials are determined to segregate Christians and keep them confined to churches, and are using this to scrutinize Kazakh Christians. The new Christian in Kazakhstan is now facing increased persecution by both family members and society. Please be praying for their safety and freedom to worship the one true God.
With over 1 million square miles, Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia and borders Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Due to the Communist impact of the Soviet era, the historically nomadic and culturally Muslim people have become quite secular.
While we view these conflicts primarily as the effects of spiritual warfare, the pressure placed on the government by Islamic opposition has led many local officials to oppress minority groups like the Kazakh Christians. While many Kazakh Christians face persecution on a societal level, it often begins within their own families. One example of this is the story of Nygmet.
Nygmet is a young follower of Christ living at home with his parents. Recently, upon returning from work, he got into an argument with his father about reading the Bible. Although not religious himself, Nygmet’s father was pressured into burning his son’s newly-translated Kazakh Bible by friends who felt that Nygmet was betraying Islam by following the “Russian” belief in Jesus. The arguing and fighting drastically impacted Nygmet and his family.
This spiritual, societal and familial conflict that Nygmet is facing is a struggle that almost every Kazakh believer endures. While these tense circumstances are very difficult, they provide followers of Christ with the best opportunity to share their faith. Our talk-radio is one of the greatest opportunities to talk about God in a safe, “unreligious” way. Simply talking about human relationships, forgiveness and peace has become our main approach to sharing the Gospel. By talking openly and peacefully about real life issues, God’s truth prevails.
Please pray for Nygmet and people like him, that their faith in the Lord will not be shaken and will grow stronger. Please pray for Rev. Nurlan and other broadcasters as well, that God will give them wisdom in their talk-shows as they present the truth and share Christ with the people of Kazakhstan.
Find out more about FEBC’s ministry to Kazakhstan