The growth of radical Islam in Central Asia prompts a response from an evangelist.

By April 6, 2004

Central Asia (MNN)–Unrest throughout Central Asia is focusing attention on the possibility of a rise in sectarian violence.

In fact, a wave of reports from the region shows rising Islamist activity. Aside from more direct attacks, seen in the bombings and bloody uprisings in Uzbekistan, there are indications trouble is brewing for believers in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Other reports suggest that the Party of Islamic Liberation, a group standing at the center of concerns over rising Islamist activity in Central Asia, is increasingly tailoring its recruiting efforts to match local dynamics.

That means they’re taking their message to the dominant ethnic groups with the money to finance and the connections to pull. Specifically, they’re looking for recruits with a higher education and ties to state institutions.

These reports are unsettling for some. For others though, they represent a clarion call. Evangelist Sammy Tippit says, “With the rise of radical Islam, I think that is symptomatic of a rise in the hunger of the hearts of people for something. They don’t have any other place to turn to but radical Islam, and they’re out there recruiting. I think right now, is the time for the average person to be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Tippit believes God is moving in this area during the turmoil. He points to their most recent evangelistic effort as proof that people are ready for the Gospel of peace.

“We started a broadcast in Pakistan, just in the first of March, and we’ve had over a thousand written and called in responses of people giving their lives to Christ from all over the Middle East, Central Asia. It has been absolutely amazing. We have been totally surprised at the response.”

Pray for the teams as they develop new partnerships with ministries in Tajikistan and Pakistan. Continue to pray for believers’ safety as they minister in an area where hostility to the Gospel increases.

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