Local Missionaries in Uzbekistan
Located in the 10/40 Window
Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Slightly larger than California, its territory is mostly covered in sandy desert. The majority of the population live in the fertile valleys of its eastern arm. An autonomous region called Karakalpakstan makes up the entire western end of the country. After Uzbekistan gained freedom from the Soviet Union in 1991 it remained officially secular. However, 83 percent of the population are Sunni Muslims and are considered some of the most devout Muslims in Central Asia. Altogether, Uzbekistan is 96.4 percent unreached, according to the Joshua Project. Evangelical Christians make up a small minority at 0.19 percent of the population and face persecution from multiple angles. The government restricts religion of all kinds—proselytizing is illegal, unregistered religious activity is criminalized, and even registered organizations must seek government approval for religious activities outside of formal worship services and for any materials they publish. Christians, especially Muslim background believers, may experience persecution from their communities and families such as the destruction of their homes and belongings. Islamic leaders pressure and blackmail new believers and cause trouble for Christians such as preventing them from burying loved ones in state cemeteries. An indigenous ministry we assist is reaching Uzbeks and ethnic minorities including Kyrgyz, Karakalpaks, Tajiks, Turkmen, and Lulis with the gospel. One of the ministry’s primary activities is to train, send out, and care for church planters in the country. They also share the gospel through outreaches like helping victims of natural disasters and extending micro-finance loans. Additionally, the ministry is reaching children through an orphanage and children’s ministries. Multiple house churches have formed from new believers. When believers experience persecution, the ministry supports them with safe housing and related medical care. Sources: CIA World Factbook, Joshua Project, U.S. Department of State, Open Doors, Encyclopedia Britannica
How to Pray for
- Pray that the gospel would abundantly spread and that new churches would be established.
- Pray that God would raise up more Christian leaders, pastors, and gospel workers.
- Pray for the safety and discipleship of new believers.