• Pray for people to find true hope in Jesus rather than from a secular government.
• Pray for the small Church to mature in faith and stand strong against evil.
• Pray for courage for cultural Muslims who are open to Jesus but frightened by potential persecution.
Kyrgyzstan is nestled in the Tien Shan mountain range of Central Asia, bordered by China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This is a nation of ragged and wild mountainscapes, nomadic traditions, and unique yurts that many shepherds call home. The country also boasts great ethnic diversity, including Turkics, Europeans, and East Asians. Yet its agricultural economy is stymied by its mountainous, landlocked location.
Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the USSR in 1991, but the new government was characterized by further corruption and heavy-handedness. Deep ethnic, political, and communal divisions have also led to instability and violence. The first two post-Soviet presidents were ousted from power, revealing the people's widespread disillusionment with the government. Kyrgyzstan celebrated their first peaceful transfer of presidential power in 2011. But corruption, ethnic divisions, border security concerns, and the threat of terrorism continue to inhibit positive and lasting change. High unemployment and widespread poverty have forced hundreds of thousands to seek work in Russia and Kazakhstan. Many rural citizens have moved to Kyrgyzstan's cities in search of better economic opportunities, which has created a growing population of slum-dwellers. High rates of alcoholism, drug trafficking, gambling, and prostitution have only magnified the nation’s suffering.
A primarily Muslim nation (89%), Kyrgyzstan’s cultural identity is tightly associated with its Islamic faith. Yet many continue to practice ancestor worship. The Occult, demonic forces, and shamans also hold many in further bondage. Christianity is claimed by only about 5%, the majority being Orthodox. Though the Church in Kyrgyzstan was once primarily expatriate, today Kyrgyz believers make up a significant portion! The Christian faith saw great growth after Communism. And although this growth has slowed, the Church is maturing. Hundreds of Protestant congregations now exist, as well as many unregistered house churches. Kyrgyz Muslims are often resistant to the Gospel, even intimidating believers through property destruction and physical violence. But the prevalent needs of the poor, disabled, and elderly provide an open door for the Body of Christ to manifest the love of Jesus to "the least of these.”
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Kyrgyz-Korean Christian Worship: Alex1TR
Capital City: Bishkek
Government: Parliamentary republic
Major People Groups: 71% Kirghiz; 14% Uzbek; 7% Russian; 1% Dungan (Hui, Huizui); 1% Uighur (Kashgar Turki)
Religion: Muslim 87%, Agnostic 6%, Christian 4%, Atheist 1%
Language: Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, Dungan, Uyghur
GDP Per Capita: $4,700
Literacy Rate: 99.6%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 93.3%