Six believers who were sharing a meal at a cafeteria in the Western Kazakhstan city of Aturay engaged one another in a simple sign-language conversation about God. According to internal sources, police abruptly confronted the believers, parishioners of “New Life” Charismatic Church, with accusations that they were having an illegal religious gathering in an unregistered location. After holding the group in custody for five tense hours, the police released them, but initiated a formal case against two of the believers. Please pray specifically for the safety of this group of deaf believers in Aturay, and that all charges would be dropped. Pray also for the church as a whole in Kazakhstan, as they are facing a recent wave of persecution.
Kazakhstan is number 42 on the World Watch List. Three issues are primary causes of the tension in Kazakhstan at the moment: the succession of President Nazarbayev, the country’s sizable Russian minority, and the hundreds of Kazakh citizens who have been sucked into radical Muslim movements in the Middle East. Persecution of Christians has increased since last year, including a slight rise in violence. The persecution in Kazakhstan is driven by a regime seeking to increase its control throughout the country, as well as by Islamic extremists.
Father, we thank You for this group of believers whose ears cannot hear but whose hearts have heard the call of their Savior whom they serve faithfully. We pray for them as they navigate the increased persecution in their nation. Guide them, Father, that they might have hearts of compassion for those who do not know You and boldness to share the truth of the gospel. Yet we pray also for wisdom and discernment to know when to “silence” their hands and when to let them “speak.” We pray that their lives might be a beacon of light and hope to those around them living in darkness. In the name of Jesus who leads us as we walk through our darkest valleys, Amen.