Asia Missions Report: Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan

Nov 30, 2002 03:16 PM EST

Turkmenistan -- More than 43-thousand people are petitioning for more religious freedom in Turkmenistan. A delegation from Christian Solidarity Worldwide presented the petition to the Turkmen Embassy last week. Officials are praying that this will be the beginning of what could be a long road to freedom of worship in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is one of the most repressive regimes in the world as believers face harassment, detention and torture. Authorities have been known to raid religious gatherings and have bulldozed places of worship.

Kazakhstan -- Christians in Kazakhstan need prayer as they attempt to reach the lost with the Gospel in that Central Asian nation. Doctor David Shibley of Global Advance just completed a Frontline Shepherds conference there. He says the pastors are ready to see the evangelical church grow. "82 cities were represented. Pastors came from neighboring Uzbekistan and also from the Republic of Russia. They went away with a real vision particularly for planting (churches) among unreached peoples and they have targeted two unreached people groups. The Kakakhs and the Uigurs." Shibley says evangelizing Kazakhstan is important. "Kazakhstan represents one of the open doors to the Islamic world. There has been at least a measure of freedom from churches to operate. I believe it's a tremendous time for us to see the Gospel advance throughout that nation and also to use the churches of that nation as a base for the advance of the Gospel throughout the Islamic world."

By Albert H. Lee
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