Despite Kyrgyz crackdown, ministry plants new seeds

By August 27, 2009

Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — Kyrgyzstan is cracking down on religious
minorities. They have established a state Coordinating Council on the struggle
against Religious Extremism.

On August 5, the Prime Minister signed the Decree
establishing the Council. Forum 18 shared
some of the text of the decree, which reads in part that it was created "for
the purpose of ensuring concerted action and coordination of activity of State
agencies and local governments of Kyrgyzstan in prevention of the spread of and
resistance to religious extremism, fundamentalism and conflicts on religious
grounds".

Faith-based groups as well as civic agencies are alarmed by
the scope of power bestowed on the Council. According to Forum 18, Raya Kadyrova of the Foundation for Tolerance International
says "unfortunately our laws give a very wide definition of religious
radicalism and extremism."

Sweeping enforcement powers can only mean a tightening of
restrictions in a country where Christian activity is already being closely
monitored.   

Tom Dudenhofer with
Audio Scripture Ministries says that's why
their team's success of an audio Bible drop stood out. "They were very,
very surprised that they were granted visas to travel and that they were also
granted permission to import the digital players. In both cases, their take on it was a 'Thank
you, God' moment. They decided not to ask too many questions and just use
the opportunity that God provided." 

ASM combined recorded Scripture with Christian Kyrgyz folk
music to impact people living in some of the remotest parts of the nation where the literacy rate is 1 percent.     

Keep praying. Seeds are being planted for the Gospel.
"A Kyrgyz evangelistic team traveled with our partners. They were allowed to also minister
to this particular group and begin the process of building an organization or
an organism of the body of Christ for the people that are very interested in
learning about Jesus Christ."

Pray for wisdom for believers as they navigate the
ramifications. 

 

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