Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Tuesday 13 December 2011
Advent Prayer - Kyrgyzstan
Project(s): 26-849, 26-774, 26-895
Country/Region: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Hebrews 1:3
|Muslims in rural areas regularly obstruct Christian converts from Islam from burying their dead in local cemeteries|
For Kyrgyzstan, the turbulent year of 2010 brought a revolution and a new constitution guaranteeing more religious freedom. Yet in 2011 the country’s Christians continue to experience restrictions and discrimination. Kyrgyzstan’s repressive religion law, passed in 2009, requires each congregation to apply for registration, a cumbersome process that can take several years to complete. It also forbids the distribution of religious literature and materials in public locations and places significant restrictions on evangelism.
However, the new central government established after last year’s revolution is weak and does not have the power to enforce the law consistently. Although many Christian groups have experienced severe problems due to the law, others have enjoyed more freedom than they expected.
In rural areas the power vacuum is often filled by Muslims, who strongly influence village elders to make life hard for Christians. Despite a law obliging villages to allocate land for Christian burial, local Muslims and village councils regularly refuse to allow converts from Islam to Christianity to be buried in their villages. Leaving Islam is seen as betraying one’s Kyrgyz identity and family, and ethnic Kyrgyz who convert from Islam to Christianity often face severe pressure and threats from family and local communities.
In the first half of 2011 a Christian mother of five was given a difficult choice by her Muslim mother-in-law after her Christian husband died: either renounce her Christian faith or be turned out of her home together with her children. When the widow stood firm in her faith and lost her home, Barnabas Aided the purchase of a home for her family.
Many Christians are leaving Kyrgyzstan owing to chronic poverty and unemployment. Pray that Christians strong in the Lord will be raised up to lead the churches. Ask the Lord to bless a Bible school supported by Barnabas Aid, which equips students to become church leaders and missionaries in their own country. Pray that the new government will repeal the religion law and uphold its commitment to freedom of religion. Pray for peace between the different ethnic groups, especially the ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks, and that Muslims will allow family members to become Christians without harassing them.
Barnabas Aid projects in Kyrgyzstan include:
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Advent 2011” -.