Please pray for our brother, Umid Gajaev in Turkmenistan, who remains imprisoned following his 2012 arrest. On April 19, 2012, Umid was attacked by several men near his home and forced to protect himself. Rather than punishing his attackers, the local police brought false accusations against him and sentenced him to an unprecedented four years prison term.
Please also pray for his family; his wife Malahat, and their two sons, Daniel (6), David (5) and daughter Zubeida (3). Open Doors workers there are working faithfully to help his family. Please pray that Umid, if it is God’s will, would be released from jail soon, and reunited with his family. Please pray for Malahat as she faces the challenges of raising their children without her husband!
In a separate incident in Kazakhstan, Pastor Viktor Kandyba was sentenced to a ten-day prison term on May 27th because he refused to pay a 2013 fine for leading his Baptist congregation without state permission. Kandyba is the eighth known Baptist this year to receive a short-term sentence after refusing to pay fines for exercising their right to freedom of religion. Those who lead unregistered religious communities will face up to 60 days’ imprisonment if the new Criminal Code now in the Senate is adopted in its current form.
Father, we thank You for the spiritual freedom You have bestowed on these pastors. Like the Apostle Paul before them, they are now in earthly chains, and we pray You will keep the eyes of their hearts turned toward You; that they might not fall into bitterness and despair. We ask that You would fill them with Your purposes and strength and authority. Use them, Father, in prison or out, to proclaim Your gospel using Your power. We pray that You will protect and sustain Malahat and her children and the family of Pastor Kandbya. And we pray for the future of Your churches in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, that regardless of the political ordinances against them, You will cause them to grow and flourish, and that all will see that You have done it. In the name of Jesus, who reigns over earthly rulers, Amen.