Local Missionaries in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia with land area the size of Western Europe. Its vast plains and plateaus are sparsely populated; over half the population lives in urban areas. Kazakhstan’s population is young—roughly half is under the age of 30 and more than a quarter is under 15.
Like many former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia, Kazakhstan returned to Islam after independence. However, it retained more Russian influence than other countries, and Russian is still its official language. Just over half the country is nominally Muslim, and Russian Orthodoxy is also prominent. Their secular government views most other forms of Christianity, including evangelical Protestantism, as “nontraditional” and restricts religious practice. Christians, from Muslim backgrounds especially, also face persecution from their families and communities.
Located in a large urban center, a ministry has great influence in their city through sports, which are popular in their region. The ministry builds relationships with students, inviting them to church, reading the Bible with them, and giving them Bibles of their own. The ministry’s leaders also mentor students to find their callings and professions in life. They help them enroll in universities, sponsor portions of their tuition, and help them find jobs.
In addition to sports outreach, the ministry shares the gospel by extending practical loving care to orphans and children from poor or broken homes. This includes food, school supplies, medical assistance when needed, and multi-day field trips to the mountains. Kazakh culture values hospitality, and the ministry invites each person they work with to their homes. “By visiting people and helping them, we talk about God and influence them,” the ministry’s leader said.
The ministry provides people with study Bibles and cares for orphans and children in need.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, Joshua Project, U.S. Department of State, Open Doors, Encyclopedia Britannica
How to Pray for
- Pray that God would open hearts to the gospel and that new believers would grow deep roots in Christ.
- Pray for wisdom as the ministry seeks to share the gospel throughout their region.
- The ministry asks for prayer for protection as Islam gains influence, especially among young men.