Kazakhstan: “Let the Children Come to Me”
Church staff at the Light of the Gospel Protestant Church in Uralsk, west Kazakhstan, have a heart for the young people of their nation to know the love of Jesus. According to a Khabar news agency, church staff distributed leaflets inviting teens to read the Bible with them, drink tea, and play games. As a result, this church is to be inspected by the State Department to see if they have violated religious laws. The church was described by Kazakhstan Media Agency Khabar (khabar.kz) as an organization that spreads non-traditional Christianity. Officials of the Uralsk Akimat (State Authority Agency) stated that, “distribution of leaflets is not prohibited by the law of Kazakhstan.” Additionally, leaders of the church could face punishment because children attended a religious event without parental permission. According to Kazakhstan’s restrictive religious law adopted in 2012, children (minors) are not allowed to engage in religious activity without official permission from their parents. The pastor of this church has already been fined in the past year in an unrelated incident involving religious violations.
Jesus said “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Pray for the situation in Uralsk, in particular, and for the situation in Kazakhstan, in general, so that the Light of the Gospel Church would be permitted to welcome children in their area to freely hear the gospel of Jesus.
Father, along with the Light of the Gospel Church we pray for the children in the land of Kazakhstan that You would bring the truth and hope of Your gospel to them. While this event at their church has brought them trouble, we pray for the seed of Your Word that has been planted in the hearts and minds of the teens who attended. Cause it to grow and flourish into a deeply-rooted faith. We pray Your protection over the church leaders as they face legal uncertainties, that You will strengthen them to bear up under any penalties. And for any of the teens who may turn to Christ, we pray Your protection over them as well that they will be safe and that You will send them mature Christians to disciple them. And, Father, we pray for the nation of Kazakhstan that the gospel of Christ might be proclaimed with the utmost power and authority. In the name of Jesus who calls us all to come to him as children. Amen.