Will religious freedom increase with new Kyrgyz government?

By April 9, 2010

Kyrgyzstan (MNN) — While Kyrgyzstan's President Bakiyev refused to resign, an interim government has been established, headed by Former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva.

Wednesday's coup has left many in the country in fear, says Sergey Rakhuba, vice president of Russian Ministries. "Families are staying inside. They don't allow their children to go outside because they simply can get killed. There's lots of looting in the city."

Rakhuba says the situation is paralyzing the entire nation, including Russian Ministries' School without Walls and other programs. "We have quite a few people on the ground there with this new initiative to train new young Christian leaders. Everything is on hold right now, but we are talking to our people [about] how we can reach out to those who have been affected."

Unfortunately, Rakhuba says there are some uncertainties. "We don't even know if there are any [of our] people that we are connected with who are unaccounted for yet, because it just happened."

Rakhuba is hoping the coup also means a repeal of restrictive religion laws. "We really hope that this uprising will lead to more freedom for people there, more freedom for evangelical church ministry [and] for Christianity overall."

That could happen as Otunabayeva wants the new government to draft a new constitution and hold new elections in the next six months.

In the meantime, reports indicate Bakiyev is trying to rally supporters in the southern portion of the country, which could mean additional bloodshed. Already nearly 100 people have reportedly been killed and hundreds more wounded.

Rakhuba is asking people to pray for wisdom, courage for Kyrgyz believers to share their faith, and the money for resources to help the young church grow. Click here to support their work.

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