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How to pray for Central Asia?

Why pray for Central Asia? It’s the least reached region

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Learn quickly how to pray for Central Asia most effectively

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Gain a helpful overview of Christian mission in Central Asia

Last updated;  27 Sep 2020

Why pray for Central Asia?  So many unevangelised

The region of Greater Central Asia accounts for half a billion of the world’s population, yet in some Central Asian countries less than 0.01% are Bible believers. To give an example, a well known city in Central Asia with a population of 1.3m – roughly equivalent to Birmingham – has only 25 ethnic  believers. Hence why we so need to pray for Central Asia.

People of Central Asia
500,000,000
% of believers as low as
0.01
In city of 1.3 million
25

What unites these countries is that they are Muslim states run by post-communist regimes. For the most part, their people are not devout in their adherence to orthodox Islam, preferring a more pragmatic folk Islam.  Will you join us in praying for Central Asia? Why not request our ‘Pray for Central Asia’ resource pack?

Why pray for Central Asia? It’s the most forgotten region

If we were to ask you to locate Central Asia on a world map and name its countries, do you think you could?

Sandwiched between Europe and Asia, but not firmly in either, this region has all but fallen from the gaze of the world and, more worryingly, the view of the Church.  Another reason why we encourage you to pray for Central Asia.

Pray for Central Asia
Central Asian young Girl - praying for Central Asia

Raising awareness to pray for Central Asia

Map of Central Asia showing percentage of Christian believers by country

Turkic and Persian speaking people groups

These people groups encompass an area stretching from Southern Russia to Pakistan and from Turkey across to north-west China. So, we are really talking about the countries of:

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What happened when the Iron Curtain collapsed in the early 1990s?

A door was opened for workers to meet the very real needs of the people and, at the same time, share the gospel. Churches quickly sprang up over the region, as Tajiks, Uzbeks and others turned to the Lord. However, the political mood changed again and mission workers found themselves persona non-grata (not welcome). Turkmenistan was the first to expel mission workers, followed closely by Uzbekistan. However, Protestant denominations have always been present despite opposition and repression.

What does a typical Central Asian church look like?

Colourful, strange and noisy. People gather in homes, sit on the ground and drink tea. Children run in and out. Women wear their traditional multicoloured dresses. Older people are given the best places. Musical worship has local tambourines and long necked guitars and the rhythm and tones reflect the Asian heart. The believers talk about Bible stories and pray with their hands lifted-up in front of them.

How can I best pray for Central Asia?

Praise and Prayer pointers

THE CHURCH

Praise God for the Central Asian church – despite being one of the most challenging regions, we have seen God work in amazing ways.

NEW BELIEVERS

Praise God for those in Central Asia that are placing their faith in Jesus. Pray for these believers to hold firm to the Lord Jesus in the face of persecution.

NEW MISSIONARIES

Pray for new mission workers to settle well into Central Asia – as they learn language, culture and the practicalities of living in a new country.

COVID-19

Parts of Central Asia have been hit hard, and access to good medical treatment is difficult for many. Praise God new gospel opportunities have arisen during the pandemic.

EURASIAN COLLEGE

Please pray for the Eurasian Mission College in Kazan, Tatarstan – training ethnic Central Asians to become gospel ministry workers back in their home countries (eurasian-ministries.org)

UK OFFICE TEAM

Pray for them as they support gospel workers, recruit and prepare new workers, and raise funds for various ministries across Central Asia.

THE CHALLENGES

In general the growth of the Church has slowed. The challenges it faces include first generation leadership, legalism, moral failure, and an overdependence on Western finance and methods.

TRANSLATION

Promising progress has been made, praise God! A priority pray need is the completion of the Scriptures into all Central Asian languages.  Also, for ethnic Central Asians to be equipped and supported to create their own resources.

GLOBAL CHURCH

Pray that Central Asia will increasingly feature on the radar of the worldwide church – pray for People International and others seeking to raise awareness of  this largely unreached and very needy region of the world.

Is the church in Central Asia persecuted?

Yes, and they need our prayers. Persecution of the church comes from two main directions. The first is from relatives and neighbours who consider conversion from Islam a rejection of their religious and national identity.

The second main form of persecution comes from the state apparatus, such as the security services and departments of religious affairs. Despite opposition in Central Asia, there is life in the church. Most do not bow to the pressure of persecution. They continue to meet week by week and open the Word of God together. Although, the zeal and rapid growth of 20-30 years ago has diminished.

Is the Church / Christianity growing in Central Asia?

It is so encouraging to see second generation believers (children of those converted when the iron curtain collapsed in the early 90’s). Generally though, at the moment, the church is now not seeing the same growth. The reasons and challenges are manifold including:

  • first generation leadership
  • legalism
  • moral failure
  • an overdependence on Western finance and methods

So, please personally, and as a church and/or homegroup, make use of our ‘Pray for Central Asia’ resource pack to help you most effectively pray for Central Asia.

How can I / our church get involved in Central Asian mission?

Mission Trips

Mission Opportunities

Online Mission presentation

What is People International’s vision for Central Asia?

We do send evangelists & gospel workers into this region, but our primary role must be to support the church in Central Asia rather than do its work for it.

Priority pray needs include completion of the Scriptures into all Central Asian languages. We also need good books/resources for church leaders and general titles for all believers. It is tempting to take our Christian classics and translate them into Tajik or Uzbek. However, it is much more effective if local church leaders are equipped to create resources for their own people and we help to publish them.

The global Church needs encouraging to recognise that Central Asia exists and to learn why and how best to pray for Central Asia and its church. Please join us in doing this.

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