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Lent Prayer - Kyrgyzstan

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Lent Prayer - Kyrgyzstan

Project(s): 26-849, 26-895

Country/Region: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

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 continued 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.

kyrgyzstan-4x3.jpg
Yurts form an important part of Kyrgyzstan’s heritage and are sometimes used for outreaches and Christian youth camps. Barnabas has funded the pur chase of several yurts for this purpose

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. In one particularly distressing event a Christian widow tried to bury the body of her deceased Christian husband three times in three different locations but was blocked and threatened by Muslim leaders and villages at every attempt. A resting place was finally found 105 miles (170 km) away from their home. Since then the widow and her five children have been forced to leave their village after Muslim neighbours repeatedly intimidated and blocked them from grazing their cattle.

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.

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. 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. Pray that local Muslim authorities will adhere to the law and allow Christians to bury their dead in their own villages.

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This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -  Download.

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