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Christians fear less religious freedom after a coup in Kyrgyzstan

By March 29, 2005

Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — Christians in Kyrgyzstan are concerned for religious freedom in the aftermath of a coup in that former Soviet block nation. Yesterday, the acting parliament named Kurmanbek Bakiyev as it’s new Prime Minister, with hopes at ending days of violence and looting in the predominately Muslim nation.

Bible Mission International is assisting in a church planting movement there. Bible Mission’s Malcolm Smith says Christian fear civil war could affect that. “They’ve had great success in planting hundreds of churches across Kyrgyzstan and what they’re afraid of at this juncture is that the extreme Muslims in Kyrgyzstan would come to power and they obviously don’t want that to happen.”

Kyrgys Christians are asking believers worldwide to pray that this power struggle would end. Smith says the trend is too promising for Christians in Central Asia. “There is a great movement across central Asia to go back to the supposed Islamic roots of the area. (But), this conflict is not going to deter us in our task.”

Smith says there’s one major reason Bible Mission wants resolution. “The Christian summer camp programs will be kicking off here at the end of May and we would really like to have some resolution to this before we start sending kids out all across Kyrgyzstan to camps.”

The bright spot about this areas is that people are responsive, says Smith. “There’s great openness tot the Gospel there. And, the Kyrgys people are warm and friendly and have great relationships and in the context of those relationships among nationals the Gospel is making eternal impact among the nations.”

Funding is need for this outreach. Call them at (877) 264-4247 or by going to their website http://www.BibleMission.org.

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