Middle East upheaval not likely to spread through Central Asia’s Kyrgyzstan

By March 2, 2011

Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — Eight countries in the Middle East and
North Africa have been dealing with anti-government uprisings since last

The unrest has spread, and stern regimes have been watching
the events unfolding with an eye cast to their own countries. Will Central Asia–specifically, Kyrgyzstan–follow Egypt's example?

Last April, Kyrgyzstan erupted into ethnic violence that
continued through to June's constitutional referendum. Are tensions and dissatisfactions high
enough to explode? Tom Dudenhofer with Audio Scripture
says it's not likely, based on the reports they're
getting from their partners. He explains that "Kyrgyzstan, probably, is in a period of rearranging itself and
reacquainting itself with some of the political realities now that they've gone
through their own upheaval as a nation."

Forum 18 News Service indicates there is some criticism of
the 2009 Religion Law, and there are some who are calling for it to be abolished or
radically changed. Muslim resistance
against Christianity also thrives in
some of the more rural areas. 

Even so, Dudenhofer says that "according to our partners,
the situation is stable enough that they feel comfortable going back into the
country, continuing with their ministry, and doing what they believe God has
called them to do."

It is evident that conditions have been ripening for some
exciting harvest. "God laid it on the
heart of this group of people to do the recording. ASM ended up with a copy of
it, and our partner showed up, asking if we happened to have any Scriptures that
might be recorded so that they could leave them with people who didn't read.
Then the national believers in Kyrgyzstan came up with the idea of reaching
this isolated tribe."

ASM will provide the tools for this people group that has
been isolated for almost 100 years, lives at an altitude of 14,000 feet, and are
mostly illiterate. "We're going to be
setting the goal of 1000 players to put into Kyrgyzstan. We know this is
God's project, and we're just excited to see who He's going to raise up to help,
and how He gets the project completed."

country's religion law bans the distribution of religious literature in public
places and prohibits private religious schools. However, Dudenhofer says, "Currently, our
partners in the country feel that their ministry is not threatened. They have
deliberately not emphasized the religious emphasis to what they do, and they're
focusing on some very specific needs of some very specific people in that

Keep praying for the team. As they get the logistics ironed out, they're looking for open
doors. "In the process of serving other people, they
have many, many opportunities to share their faith and to do it in a very
realistic and very low key manner, where they're simply sharing their lives."

Pray for church leaders to effectively disciple believers and equip them to
stand strong in their faith despite opposition. It costs $40 to send a digital Scripture player to this people group. There's more here.

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