Urgent Prayers Needed for Central Asia
- Pray for Aleksei Asetov, a leader of an unregistered Baptist group in eastern Kazakhstan. On February 8, Asetov was fined 485,400 Tenge (3,273 USD) for leading the small congregation that meets in his home. It was the first time the court used the new legislation of 2011 to sentence a Christian. *
- Pray for the Pentecostal church in Petropavl in North Kazakhstan. On January 29th police working for a branch called the Department for the Fight against Extremism, Separatism and Terrorism and a local official of the Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) raided the congregation. They confiscated several New Testaments, books by Josh McDowell, and DVDs of a film on Mary Magdalene. After confiscating the religious material, officials drew up a document recording an administrative offence of distributing illegal literature. However, Pastor Rudoy refused to sign it. Rudoy added that officials again visited the church during Sunday worship on February 12th. *
- Please pray for several Christian families in a small village in Turkmenistan. The community is hostile to the Christians and hinders them in using the village well. They also threaten to kill them if they send their children to school. The families testified that this persecution will help them become stronger in their faith.
- President Berdymukhammedov, who was re-elected on February 10, has promised political reforms in Turkmenistan. Pray that the Church will actually experience an improvement in their difficult situation.
- Please pray for the ministry of local Tajik Christians to invalids and families with children who have Down Syndrome. May God draw many families to Him as they see His love through the care given to these children.
- Pray for encouragement for the Christians in Malatya, Turkey. In February, local officials bulldozed three buildings in a cemetery. This violence traumatized the Christians; pray for protection and peace.
- Pray that Turkish friends and relatives of the murdered Fr. Andrea Santoro and Bishop Padovese will experience Gods comfort and that the truth about the murder will come out during the trial.
- The Constitution is being revised in Turkey. Pray that the rights of the religious minorities will be protected. Pray that Christians in addition to the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox (the only denominations currently recognized by the government) will receive equal rights.
Father, across Central Asia Your church is experiencing discrimination and persecution. Hear their cries, comfort them in the midst of violence, grant wisdom as they meet with authorities, give them courage as they minister in Your name, overrule in legal and constitutional matters, and protect them. Let their voices be heard as they proclaim Your Word and bring fruit to their faithful service. Thank You for the clear evidence of the Spirit’s power to save and to work on behalf of Your people. In the name of Jesus who is in the midst of His church, always at work with power and authority, Amen.
*Source: Forum 18