2 Corinthians 1:8-11 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”
Central Asia is the area of the world least reached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The area is almost 100% Muslim. Central Asia, aka the Turko-Persian world, extends from Turkey in the west to China’s Xinjiang province in the east. It extends from southern Russia in the north to Iran and Pakistan in the south. Central Asia contains over 500 distinct ethno-linguistic people groups, and all but one of them is unreached by the gospel. (An unreached people group is defined as a people group with less than 1 in 50 being believers in Jesus. For most Central Asian people groups there is 1 Christian for every 10,000 people).
The peoples of Central Asia need peace as many of their countries have suffered from decades of war and oppression.
According to recent reports, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is expanding in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has begun kidnapping minorities.
Pray for God’s peace to come to these lands. They also need faithful, committed workers to come and share the good news of the Gospel. The harvest in Central Asia is plentiful – many have just never heard.
There is much persecution of believers in Central Asia.
Persecution can come from families, society, other religions and governments. In Central Asia some believers experience persecution from all of these sources.
Central Asians are coming to faith in Christ in unprecedented numbers. Many see either a dream or vision at some point in their faith journey. One recent convert, an Afghan university student, shared these factors that let him to consider and accept Christ:
- At age 6 he heard a Christian radio program and was drawn to Christ.
- At age 20 he moved to a university town and was given a Bible to read. He found this to be a more clear and accurate book, and said that his holy book was just a “bad copy” of what much of the Bible said.
- He said: “My prophet is dead. My “holy book” says that your prophet (Jesus) is alive. Should I follow a living prophet or a dead prophet?”
- I have been seeking for truth all my life. When I found this it was obvious to me that this is the truth, and I have accepted it.
- This believer was baptized and is growing in his faith.
Photos: Amber Clay
- For seekers to continue to see dreams and visions that lead them to Christ.
- For those making radio and TV programs to reach Central Asians.
- For media strategies (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter) to reach Central Asians.
- For protection of local believers and Christian workers
- For new believers to grow in their faith and to share the Gospel with others
Thank you for praying!
A Brother of Stephen in Central Asia