For more than a decade, Pastor Miran* has led a church in Kyrgystan that has become a home to many Muslim converts in Central Asia. The unique reach of the church stems from its leadership.
Pastor Miran is also a former Muslim who’s so passionate about his faith in Christ that he became a church leader.
Now the church is under fire from Muslims.
‘We Will Persecute You in Every Possible Way’
A local source told World Watch Monitor that services at the church have been interrupted twice in the last few months by a group of local officials, representatives of the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, assistants to the local imam and former colleagues from the school where Pastor Miran previously taught.
On both occasions, members of the group demanded they stop the service and told them: “You will not be able to live and carry out your ministry here.” When church members tried to peacefully settle the conflict, the group hurled more threats and insults.
Reportedly, church members used their cell phones to video the group, forcing them to hide their faces and leave the building.
“We will come here again and again,” they yelled as they walked out, “to disturb and persecute you in every possible way.”
A Difficult Road for Converts in Central Asia
For Pastor Miran, this recent threat against the church is part of a long line of persecution incidents that he has endured after leaving Islam. When they discovered he had become a Christian and was leading a church, the leadership of the school where he once worked threatened to fire him. He was also accused of child abuse and jailed for six months. No lawyer would defend him for fear of alienating themselves.
The day of the trial, no witnesses appeared; the charges weren’t proven. The local source said the church felt the allegation was only leveled against him because of his conversion.
Since his release, Pastor Miran, a father of five, has been unable to find paid work. According to the source, local Muslims assassinate his character saying, “If Miran could betray his ‘native pure Islam,’ maybe he could do other bad things too.”
Praying With Pastor Miran and his church
Please pray with Pastor Miran and this Central Asian church in Kyrgastan (we can’t name the specific town for security reasons):
- Pray that God would soften the hearts of this group and that the congregation would be allowed to continue to worship.
- Pray that this persecution will strengthen this congregation and, much like the underground church in China, that they would multiply as a result of their adversity.
- Pray with these former Muslims that they would continue to grow in their faith and share their story despite the continued unrest.
- Pray with this congregation for courage as they live against the Muslim-majority culture and endure the consequences converts must face.
- Pray with Pastor Miran that he will find full-time work and be able to support his family of five children. Ask God to place people in his path that would encourage and strengthen him and protect his children.
- Pray with the thousands of converts in Central Asia as they encounter persecution from numerous sources, including family, community, the government and extremist groups like ISIS.
*pseudonym and representative image used for security reasons
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