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Why + how to pray for Kazakhstan?

Why pray for Kazakhstan? Addictions are rife

You will:

Learn how to best pray for Kazakhstan – a vast country, a minority church, and rife with Alcoholism and drug addiction

Learn about the relative tolerance for Protestant activities and download a prayer resource to help you pray for Central Asia

Find out about specific mission opportunities including language study at various universities, and specialist work in the oil industry

Last updated;  20 July 2021

Why pray for Kazakhstan?  For the minority church

Although by land area Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, its population is only around 18 million. Most of Kazakhstan is a vast grassland, known as “The Great Steppe.” Since time immemorial, these lands have been home to tribes of nomadic horsemen raising livestock and living in round portable houses called yurts. It is believed that horses were first tamed on the Central Asian Kazakh steppe.

Government data indicates that about 45,000 Kazakhs, 2100 Uzbeks, and 1300 Uyghurs list their religion as “Christian.” Those numbers certainly exceed the number of active Protestant believers, but do indicate that a small minority church has emerged among these populations.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are widespread, and as a consequence broken relationships are common.

To enable you to pray in a specific and meaningful way, you may find it helpful to download our ‘Pray for Central Asia’ prayer resource pack.

Why pray for Kazakhstan?
Opportunities exist, given more tolerance of religion than in some of the Stan’s

There is a fair amount of tolerance for Protestant activities performed by registered churches in the bigger cities, but harassment has increased in recent years, and village work is extremely difficult.

Expats wanting to come and live in Kazakhstan must come on the government’s terms. Opportunities include language study at various universities, specialist work in the oil industry, qualified English teachers, and even properly qualified pastors.

Only by immigrating to Kazakhstan can one be ‘really free’ to pursue a wider range of activities. This is difficult, but possible.

Pray for Kazakhstan
Orthodox religious leader in Kazakhstan - Pray for Kazakhstan

Can you tell me more about this land as I pray for Kazakhstan?

Today the Kazakhs, a Turkic-speaking traditionally Muslim ethnic group descended from the nomads, make up 66.5% of the population. Although a few of them remain semi-nomadic, and a large rural population is engaged in livestock raising and wheat farming, slightly over half of the people now live a modern urban life.

Kazakhstan is also the site of the Baikonur where Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be launched into space and the site of the Soviet Nuclear testing facilities at Semipalatinsk.

Map of Kazakhstan - Christian mission

By the late 19th C, Kazakhstan was under control of the Tsars and ethnic Russians began to move in. The Russian population reached 42.7% in 1959 and now stands at 20.6%. After the communist revolution and Russian civil war, it became part of the USSR. Starting in 1929 Stalin forcibly settled the nomads and collectivized their livestock, resulting in terrible famines and the death of over 1m Kazakhs. This was followed by Stalin’s “Great Terror” and World War II which further decimated the population.

Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991.  The post-Soviet period has seen great economic progress, especially in the oil and mining sectors.

Long lines of railway trucks carrying coal - Pray for Kazakhstan

Islam came to settlements in southern Kazakhstan in the 8th century and a Sufi form of the religion took root. From there it slowly spread northward among the nomadic tribes. Islam became a deeply held marker of Kazakh identity and heavily influenced traditional rituals, but the steppe nomads never adapted all the teachings of formal Islam.

Most Kazakhs were quite secular throughout the Soviet period, but in recent years a form of Orthodox Islam has spread rapidly, especially among young people in the west and south of the country. Yet to this day, most Kazakhs have a traditional or nominally Islamic mind-set.

Pray for Kazakhstan at a glance:
  • Population: 18-19 million
  • Area: 1.050 million sq miles (yes, it’s big)
  • Capital: Astana
  • Languages: Kazakh
  • Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge
  • Religion: Muslim 54%, Non 34%, Christian (majority Orthodox) 12%
  • Believers:  20,000+
Youth skateboarding in park Kazakhstan - Pray for Kazakhstan
Flag of Kazakhstan - Prayer for Kazakhstan

Request your 'Pray for Central Asia' resource pack

An ideal resource for personal prayer, a prayer meeting, mission event, or homegroup - including a map resource, 7 day prayer devotional tool and moving missionary stories...
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How can I best pray for Kazakhstan?

Praise and Prayer pointers

CHURCH

Praise God for the established church amongst the Kazaks, Uzbeks, and Uyghurs in Kazakhstan.

2nd GEN BELIEVERS

Praise the Lord for the believing children of the first generation of post-Soviet believers. Pray that they would follow the faith of their parents and that a new, stronger generation of leaders would emerge from them.

UNITY + PARTNERING

Pray for unity instead of rivalry among church leaders. Pray that some cross-culturally sensitive elements of the larger and more mature Russian language churches can effectively partner with Kazakh language groups to the Glory of God.

VILLAGES

Pray for the villages of Kazakhstan where many have heard and received the Word, but most have no consistent fellowship or mentors to help them grow.

TRANSLATION

Pray that the Uyghur (approx. 270,000 in Kazakhstan) Old Testament translation would proceed at a good pace.

CORRUPTION

Pray against corruption and pray for continued economic growth.

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