Year opened: 1994
The second largest former Soviet republic is home to more than 17 million residents. The mix of Kazakh and Russian, as well as other people groups create an interesting mix of cultures and religious understanding. Just over 50 percent of the population is Kazakh, most of whom are at least nominally Muslim. About 40 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, who tend to be nominally Orthodox.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union an amazing opportunity was presented to Christians worldwide. Due to the spiritual vacuum left by decades of communism and an imposed atheistic belief-system, the need for the gospel message was astounding. The physical and spiritual poverty of inhabitants throughout the former Soviet Union seemed impossible to calculate, much less diminish through evangelistic and humanitarian efforts. Yet, the vision and courage of those God called in the early years has had a tremendous impact on the nations that accepted aid.
Kazakhstan was one of the first countries to declare independence and begin to chart her own course. Just two years after the Iron Curtain fell, Mission Society missionaries settled in the region. Looking back on the past, no one could have guessed the miracles that would take place and the lives that would be changed.
Today, Kazakhstan not only has a growing Christian population, but is becoming a mission-sending nation herself. Despite the challenges that persist in a post-Soviet culture, the Church is established and continuing to grow. This new church equips local Christians to serve outside the country as cross-cultural missionaries to the more closed Muslim nations that surround them. Because of their close cultural affiliation with other people groups, regional location, and understanding of persecution, Kazakh believers are prime candidates to minister to
Mission Society missionaries in Kazakhstan serve in a variety of roles. Some teach English as a Second Language classes, others run a program for at-risk children, and others work with discipleship programs.
- Pray for new believers, that they might develop into mature servant-leaders.
- Pray for strength for the Kazakh Church as it faces increasing pressures from government and community.
- Pray for unity between ethnic Russian and Kazakh believers.
- Pray for relationships between missionaries and local people who are open to the gospel.