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Formerly under Communist rule as a republic of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan — owing to its vast mineral resources — is one of Central Asia’s wealthiest nations. Islam has experienced a resurgence since the fall of the Soviet Union, and many have returned to what they consider their Muslim heritage, which was restricted for decades by atheistic communism. Today, Kazakhstan emulates its European neighbors, undertaking massive construction projects, enjoying a growing economy and adopting the Latin alphabet used by Western nations.
52 percent of Kazakhs are Sunni Muslims. The next-largest group includes those who are atheists or non-religious, a legacy of atheistic Communist rule. 15 percent are Christians, of which less than 1 percent are evangelicals.
Christians are persecuted by their families and communities. Churches and Christians outside the Russian Orthodox faith are restricted and harassed by the government.
What It Means To Follow Christ In Kazakhstan:
Christian converts are often disowned by their families, publicly shamed and even beaten. All religious activities must be registered with the government, and believers are commonly fined for distributing unauthorized religious texts, discussing faith or holding worship meetings. The government allows more freedom to Russian Orthodox Christians, who make up nearly 15 percent of the population, but they are suspicious of evangelicals who worship in the native Kazakh language. Unregistered churches must meet in private homes. These gatherings are frequently raided and believers fined.
Access To Bibles:
Bibles are available, but distribution is restricted and they are difficult to obtain outside large cities. Give Bibles
VOM provides Bibles and supports front-line workers in the most difficult areas. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray for Pastor Zhetis and his family, who are continually threatened by local authorities.
- Pray for Christian events that train and encourage Kazakh believers.
- Pray that believers will find ways to spread the gospel despite increasing religious restrictions.
- Pray for the encouragement of believers who face continual pressure from their hostile government and communities.
- Pray for President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev and the government.
- Pray for the growth of house churches in smaller cities and villages.