Open Doors’ Silk Road Services team often works in the most hostile environments. The ancient silk route from China to Turkey crosses through countries such as Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Here the gospel is struggling, but in the midst of the struggles there are many faithful servants who are determined to not just survive but grow the church in Central Asia.
Please join in prayer with these recent requests from brothers and sisters living in the region.
- Pray for an extra measure of discernment for all Christians in Central Asia as many informers of the secret police try to find information about the churches. They attend church meetings and pretend to be new believers, making it difficult for believers to know whom to trust.
- Support us with your prayers for our literature ministry. Pray for qualified and trained translators as well as for good and appropriate materials. We also need your prayers for the protection of our brothers and sisters who are involved in this dangerous work.
- Pray for the people who offer their homes for meetings of small groups. Many of them have relatives and neighbors who do not approve of their Christian activities. From time to time they curse and threaten them and complain about them to the Mahalla committee. Recently a sister was ordered to come to the committee and told to stop having meetings in her home. She informed the members of the Mahalla that she will continue to allow people to meet in her home for worship. She has asked for our prayers for protection.
- Pray for wisdom for the government and stability throughout the country as Tajikistan celebrates its Day of National Unity on June 27, remembering the end of the civil war in 1997.
- Pray for a brother in Uzbekistan who is often called to the prosecutor’s office for questioning. Authorities are trying to obtain information about other house group leaders in the region and are continually putting pressure on him.
- A non-registered Uzbek church was raided in a small village; all the church belongings, even a calendar on the wall, were confiscated. The pastor was ordered to pay an enormous fine (100 times his monthly wage). The authorities ignored his request to instead be put in prison because he could not afford to pay such a large fine. The pastor is suffering from the stress and is feeling ill. Please pray for him.
- Pray for the people of Afghanistan that they will have open hearts, eager to receive the message of joy and hope! Pray that many obstacles in the minds and hearts of people will be removed so that the message of the Gospel will be embraced. One of the obstacles is fear of being different; another one is fear of change. Pray that the many Christian radio and TV programs being broadcast into the country will be a source of hope for those who hear and see them.