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Why + how to pray for Kyrgyzstan?

Why pray for Kyrgyzstan? For its 300+ churches

You will:

Learn how to best pray for Kyrgyzstan – one of the smallest countries of Central Asia, yet with several hundred churches established

Learn about the plateauing of church growth, and the real need for discipleship. To aid you as you pray, download our prayer resource

Learn how they need to capitalise on their greater religious freedom, sharing the gospel to free people from a mix of Folk Islam and Shamanism

Last updated;  7 July 2021

Why pray for Kyrgyzstan? For the relative democracy

Located on the historical Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country famous for its natural heritage including its high peaks, glaciers, lakes and snow leopards.

Kyrgyzstan may be one of the smallest and poorest nations in Central Asia, yet it has asserted itself on the world stage by rejecting the autocratic ruling style of its neighbours. With two revolutions since its independence in 1991, it has bravely forged ahead with its democratic parliamentary system.

Its potential is great with resources of gold and other precious metals, rather than oil or gas, key to its future economic success, but this will require increased political stability.

Many churches were established in the 90’s

Today there are approximately 300 churches in Kyrgyzstan made up of many denominations: Baptists, Assemblies of God and the Kyrgyz Alliance (independent Kyrgyz speaking) are just some examples. Some churches minister primarily to Russians, others to Kyrgyz, and generally can meet openly.

To inform your prayers download our ‘Pray for Central Asia’ prayer resource pack.

Why pray for Kyrgyzstan?
The church grew quickly in the early 1990’s but in more recent years has plateaued

Many believers have left Kyrgyzstan to work in other countries. Many believers are not well discipled in the faith and therefore engage in some non-Christian practices which weaken their testimony. Good teaching and discipleship are needed in the churches, and division among the churches along church group lines is a problem.

On the positive side, local leadership is the norm, training and resources for the church are being developed, and the country experiences more religious freedom than many of its neighbours.

Pray for Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz woman reading the bible in her own language - Pray for Kyrgyzstan

As I turn to pray for Kyrgyzstan, can you give me a brief history lesson?

Traced back to 201 BC and originally nomads, the Kyrgyz once ruled a huge area across Russia and Mongolia, but in 1209 were overcome by Ghengis Khan and forced to migrate south-west to their present location near the Tien-Shen mountains, now covering a region similar to Scotland in size. Here they conquered the Persian peoples and then adopted their settled lifestyle. Despite various revolts, the country was annexed to the Russian Empire in 1876 and then absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1919.

Since its independence, Kyrgyzstan has sought to assert its national identity within its diverse ethnic population (e.g. 15% Uzbek, 9% Russian). This has not been easy: in June 2010 the ousting of President Bakiyev led to ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the southern city of Osh, leaving many dead and thousands injured.

Map of Kyrgyzstan - Christian mission

One historian has said that the Kyrgyz mind has four layers: Shamanism, Islam, “Sovietism” and capitalism. In ancient times the Kyrgyz followed Shamanism and there are still traces of its influence today. Some Kyrgyz still believe in one creator god, Tengir or sky deity. Kyrgyz feel very close to nature: to them, horse and man are mystically one. Men train eagles to catch small animals for food. Kyrgyz tie bits of cloth to trees, representing wishes for blessings or protection. Even today they go to Shamanic healers.

The Kyrgyz have never embraced Islam as much as their neighbours. Most Kyrgyz think of themselves as Muslim but their practice varies widely, mixing Folk Islam and Shamanism with more orthodox practices. However, Islamic funeral traditions and reading the Koran at holidays are important rituals that are widely observed.

Pray for Kyrgyzstan at a glance:
  • Population: 6.5 million
  • Area: 77,000 sq miles
  • Capital: Bishkek
  • Languages: Krgyz, Russian
  • Currency: Kyrgyzstani Som
  • Religion: Muslim (87%)
  • Believers:  30,000 – 40,000 (0.5%)
Group of Kyrgyz young people walking in Bishkek - Pray for Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan - Pray for Kyrgyzstan

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 Kyrgyzstan?

Praise and Prayer pointers


Thank the Lord Pray for the Kyrgyz believers, and pray they will have deeper understanding and maturity in their faith.


Pray that the Kyrgyzstan Christians will have a passion for ministry of all kinds: evangelism, teaching/discipleship, church planting, good works, etc.


Pray that the economy will improve, but that more money won’t keep the believers from depending on Christ.


Pray that the different churches and individual believers will work together in unity.


Pray that falsehoods told during the Soviet Union time about Christianity will be dispelled.


Pray that the church will grow in all areas of the country and penetrate all levels of society.

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