Last month, we shared the story of Batima*, a Kyrgyzstani believer who was beaten by her siblings for her faith in Jesus. We asked you to pray for her recovery and the softening of her siblings’ hearts.
Batima’s story might seem surprising, given the country’s democratically elected government and relatively light religious restrictions in comparison to its neighbors. This goes to show that while governments play a critical role in setting the precedent for religious freedom, there are always other factors at play, as well.
In Kyrgyzstan, these other factors are primarily cultural. For Batima (and many others), pressure from family members is often the greatest source of persecution. While family pressure doesn’t always erupt into violence, it’s also not an uncommon progression.
Prayer for the families of persecuted Christians is incredibly important, as the family unit is often their primary mission field. In cases like Batima’s, where it might seem easier to give up than continue to pray for the salvation of her family members, forgiveness and redemption can be found in Christ alone. Please continue to pray that her siblings would be brought to repentance, and their eyes and hearts be penetrated by the light of the gospel.
As for Batima, she is nearly fully healed, and is staying at a safe house in an undisclosed Central Asian country. Open Doors workers report that they have been able to pray with and encourage her, but they continue to request prayers for her health and the recovery of the personal documents that were stolen by her siblings at the time of the attack.
Christian women around the world are often the targets of intense persecution for their faith, particularly in countries where women are already treated as lesser citizens. They usually have little political, socioeconomic or cultural power to defend themselves, leaving them at the mercy of other believers or outside help.
Women and Children Advancement is a key initiative of Open Doors, aimed at empowering persecuted women and children with vocational trainings, trauma care, medical assistance and whatever else they need to help them survive and witness in cultures that are hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
*Representative name used for security reasons.