Largest gathering of Christians meets in Kazakhstan.

By September 27, 2006

Kazakhstan (MNN) — Kazakhstan is a predominately Muslim country that’s facing some religious freedom issues. Despite the challenges, the World Evangelical Alliance says God is moving.

WEA’s Geoff Tunnicliffe says the spread of Christianity is a site to behold. “I remember visiting Kazakhstan in the early 90’s and there were very few believers among the Kazakh people themselves, but God has done a marvelous work in these last 10 or 15 years. And I was able to speak at the largest gathering of Kazakh believers in its history.”

4,000 believers gathered in Almaty for worship and teaching, says Tunnicliffe. He says most of the new believers are 40 years old and younger. “Most of these people are from Muslim backgrounds and have been under tremendous pressure since they became believers. [They] have had to make great sacrifices for being followers of Jesus.”

While many believe religious freedom is being curtailed in Kazakhstan, Tunnicliffe is optimistic. “I had some very encouraging meetings with political leaders, urging them to promote pluralism and protection for the religious minorities. And every indication is that they’re willing to commit to that. We’re going to, obviously, follow up on that and make sure they keep their word as well.”

While religion laws have caused problems for outreach, Tunnicliffe is excited. “The church is going to continue to grow, and they’re growing with a missionary vision. They’re going to make great sacrifice, but I think it’s under those circumstances — the ones that really do follow the Lord want to make the message known to as many people as possible.”

WEA is an religious and human rights advocacy organization. Tunnicliffe says, “They’re not alone. We are with them as a part of a community of 420 million believers around the world who are standing with them and that was really important for them to understand that and to know that.”

With successes in Kazakhstan and other countries, Tunnicliffe says they’ve decided to take the message to you. “We decided to bring a team of people from around the world to travel across to several cities in North America to give a global briefing of what God is doing not only through the persecuted church, but in many different parts of the world.”

Go to WEA’s Global Briefing website for more information.

These speakers will also be a part of the MNN International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church radio broadcast on November 12, 2006.

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