Growing to maturity: Discipling new believers in Kyrgystan

Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful mountainous country but with very few natural resources and significant poverty. It was the first Central Asian republic to break free from the USSR. It is predominantly Muslim, with ten times as many mosques as churches. Despite this, evangelism amongst the Kyrgyz people was fruitful in the 1990s, resulting in amazing church growth and some dynamic leaders and large congregations. This was not mirrored in the Uzbek minority in the south who have traditionally been much more conservative.

In April 2010, a revolution ousted President Bakiev and this was followed by a fierce four-day war in the South of the country that targeted the Uzbek minority. Many Uzbek homes were burnt and people killed. Since then, even more Uzbek than before have tried to leave to work in Russia or other places.

Interim President Roza Otunbaeva is the first Central Asian president ever who will step down from power on her own initiative. After being elected interim president after the revolution, she made clear from the beginning that she would serve only until a new president was chosen after elections in 2011.


There are many Kyrgyz and Russian-speaking churches. A big issue, however, is the discipling of new believers. So often, people who have been in the faith for a long time haven’t really grown and are stuck in their old patterns. Also, some Christian leaders have been a bad testimony by living sinful lives and fighting with each other publicly. For many “being a Christian” is still seen as an equivalent to “being Russian” (which is associated with worshipping idols, drinking alcohol, eating pork and living a life that doesn’t honour God).

After the revolution and the war in the south of the country last summer, there is a new openness among all the people in the south of the country. Some have exclaimed that the Uzbeks are now more open than they have been in the last 500 years!


  • Praise God for how He used all the horrible events of last year to draw many to Himself.
  • Praise Him for the many new believers, especially in the South and amongst the Uzbeks who had been so closed before the war.
  • Praise God for the relative freedom that believers have right now to share their faith and also to distribute literature
  • Praise Him for a local evangelist in the south whose preaching is powerful and effective, bringing many to Christ.


  • Pray for a peaceful election on October 31st and that Kyrgyzstan will get the government that God can use best to expand His kingdom here.
  • Intercede against the spirit of nationalism or racism (based on ethnicity).
  • Ask God that the temporary uncertainty and the lack of vision of the people for their nation will be a vacuum that only He can fill.
  • Pray for the discipling of new believers, that they will have a solid foundation in their faith and be prepared to stand strong in the light of an unknown future.
  • Pray for the growth of house church networks that reproduce themselves.
  • Intercede that bondages will be broken in the lives of believers and they will be set free to give testimony to Jesus’ power.
  • Ask God to raise up a generation of godly Christian leaders who reflect Him in their character and work.
  • Cry out for more workers! There is a desperate need for more workers to disciple the many new believers, particularly in the south of the country.


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