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[2024 Ramadan Day 4] Kazakhstan, the Lord's army that will pioneer the nations

Kazakhstan is a compound word of Kazakh, meaning free people, and stan, meaning country, and means country of free people. Kazakhstan is located in the center of the Eurasian continent and has the 9th largest area in the world. The population is approximately 20 million, with over 130 different ethnic groups, including Kazakhs (70%) and Russians (18%). It is said that because various ethnic groups live, they recognize each other's religion and have freedom of religion, but among them, the Kazakh people chose Islam, the religion that represents their ethnicity, and are living in an umma (family) community.

Since gaining independence from the socialist regime in 1991, Kazakhstan has achieved rapid economic growth through the former president's active open-door policy and abundant natural resources. However, amid increasing secularization, high divorce rates, and economic hardships due to soaring inflation post-COVID-19, people face pain and challenges from their families, as well as severe income disparities.

When the government more than doubled the price of gas in early 2022, angry people took to the streets, and protests that lasted for several days resulted in over 200 deaths and over 2,000 injuries. Recently, two earthquakes exceeding 5.0 occurred in major cities, causing many high-rise buildings to shake violently. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but the earthquake made people fearful, and an increasing number of people are moving to countryside. There are many people visiting mosques out of fear of death, more people going to Arab countries from the airport even before the start of Ramadan, and a noticeable increase in the number of women who wear hijab. During the days leading up to Ramadan, at some bus stops, you can see prayer signs posted along with national flags asking Muslims around the world to pray for Palestinian Muslims. Some are seen seeking for a place to do the Namaz prayer in a crowded restaurant, and there is an increase in number of young people observing their religious practices.

However, we believe that God loves Kazakhstan and is giving a great revival in Kazakhstan. Brother N, whom the short term team met this summer, was a young man who immediately accepted Jesus when he heard the gospel and even confessed that he wanted to be baptized. When he was invited to home, he heard the gospel once again. He still had many questions, and some things were confusing to him, but he continued to come to learn the truth. During this Ramadan, we desire that the gospel that Brother N heard will be planted deep in his heart, and that it will be a time for him to meet the Lord more deeply and be spiritually born again. As the 18 million Kazakh Muslims seek to unite their national identity through Islam during this Ramadan, the churches of Kazakhstan and Central Asia will also gather together to worship and pray.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

In the past, when the famine was the worst in Kazakh history, Kazakhs shared their food with other peoples who had been forcibly relocated, even though they themselves had not enough to eat. Just like they saved other people groups sharing the little they had, Lord, may all the peoples of Kazakhstan meet the Lord, who is the truth, and never be spiritually hungry or thirsty! May they rise up as a nation that preaches the Lord, the bread of life, among all nations! Through the Central Asia Mission Camp held this March, let the churches of Kazakhstan rise up once again in obedience to the Word of God and in dedication! May the spirit of Islam that has bound this land for 1,400 years be broken and may the people of Kazakhstan rise up as a church that serves all nations! [Today’s prayer]

1. God, please have mercy on the peoples of this land who live difficult lives due to secularization, the wounds and pain received in broken families, and the economic gap between rich and poor. May they meet you Lord, the bread of life, and be satisfied of their spiritual hunger and thirst! We believe that now is the time of Kazakh’s salvation and the time for them to receive grace. May those who have wandered without knowing the Father and those who have been seeking for truth hear the gospel of Jesus during this Ramadan and come before the Lord and gain true eternal life!

2. God, please raise up the churches in Kazakhstan. Through this Central Asia Mission Camp, when all nations, all generations, and all churches gather together to worship and pray before the Lord, may the spiritual strongholds holding this land collapse. Let there be a restoration of worship and the Word within the church. Please pour out revival once again, so that the Church of Kazakhstan will be filled with the Holy Spirit, offering themselves fo the Lord and the Gospel, and rise up as a missional church that serves all nations!


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