Muslims pressure Christians to leave Kyrgyzstan villages

By June 26, 2006

Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — 75-percent of the population of Kyrgyzstan considers themselves to be Muslim. With an unstable government and the Christian population growing, tensions between the two religions are growing. Bible Mission International is testimony to that.

Bible Mission’s Paul Hagelgans tells us of a situation in a village where a church has been planted and is now reaching out into the community. “Muslim leaders came to our brothers and (told them) that they needed to leave the city. They asked, ‘For what reason?’ (They said), Because you’re Kyrgyz and you accepted Christ and you’re supposed to be all Muslims, you need to leave.”

The believers objected and that’s when hostilities got out of hand. “They (the Muslims) started to argue with them and started to take stones and started to make damage.”

However, the local government responded and sent police. Hagelgans says police told the Muslim leaders, “You don’t have (the) right to do this. We are not a religious country, we are a secular country and by constitution we have equal rights to everyone who believes or not believe or what they believe.”

However, that didn’t curb stop the aggression. Hagelgans says national missionaries have remained strong. “The missionaries who work there and the church are not discouraged. They (are) staying and praying and trusting God and continue to do their ministry and they have great vision to reach even those who are against them.”

The Kyrgyz believers have a goal of reaching 3,000 cities and village with the Gospel. Hagelgans says, “This year they’d like to bring to 300 villages the written Word of God. And, pray that God would bless them with literature, with finances for gas and for transportation and for the people who are going where there’s a lot of opposition.”

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