Kazakhstan with over 1 million square miles is the largest country in Central Asia, bordering with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Kazakh people are historically nomadic and culturally Muslim. However, due to the Communist impact of the Soviet era, most people are quite secular. Due to terrorist activities and the unrest in the Middle East with ISIS, etc., there is quite an opposition to religion, “extreme religion” as officials call it. This also has a negative impact on Christians, even though, Christians are making up a very small group and are the most peaceful group within Kazakhstan. Officials are trying hard to put religion behind the walls of mosques and churches. Even for churches there seem to be more and more restrictions. As we understand it, first, of course, there is the spiritual warfare going on between evil and good, Satan and God. Like I already mentioned, the government is very much worried about the militant Islamic oppositions. Some local officials also use this situation to crack down, especially on Kazakh Christians. Opposition to Christianity often is starting within families, when Kazakh people become followers of Christ. Persecution comes from family members first and goes from there.
Nygmet is a young follower of Christ. He still is single and lives at home with his parents. Recently, after he got home from work, his father started to argue with him about reading the Kazakh Bible. The father is not religious himself, however, was pressured from his friends regarding his son betraying their religion, accepting the “Russian” believe in Jesus. His friends suggested to burn his son’s Bible, what he did. By the way, the Bible in Kazakh language has been fully translated just a few years ago. All this arguing and fight shook Nygmet up. It becomes a real spiritual warfare for Nygmet and people like him, especially, when they are still living under the same roof. Actually, this is the struggle almost every Kazakh follower of Christ is going through in one way or another.
On the other hand, such tensions give followers of Christ the best opportunity to share Christ. Our talk-radio is one of the greatest opportunities to talk about God in an “unreligious” way. This has become our main approach in sharing the Gospel, by simply talking first and foremost about a godly family, human relationships, topics like forgiveness and peace through accepting each other in a godly way. Like in Nygmet’s case, we did a talk-show on good fatherhood. What would a good father do, when his son seems to have a different world-view? It was amazing to hear participants sharing their takes on such matters. Of course, through talking openly and peacefully about real life’s issues, God’s truth often prevails. Like I like to say, whenever we help our listeners to think sincerely and truthfully about life’s challenges, we have done a good job. I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work and likes to make use of such outreach in our radio ministry.
Coming back to Nygmet’s case, there are in general three outcomes from such family straggles. 1) The struggle is too much and the young follower of Christ gives up on his commitment, stops any fellowship with other believers. 2) The young believer separates from his family and joins the Christian community. This is often very difficult, especially, if such a young believer is a part of a larger family. 3) The young believer has such an impact on the rest of the family that they too choose to follow Christ. Of course, the third option is the most desired and, thank God, often is the case. Please pray with us for Nygmet and people like him, so that their faith in the Lord will not be shaken, but get stronger. Please pray also for Rev. Nurlan and other broadcasters, that God would give them wisdom in their talks, reasoning for truth, sharing Christ.
Rev. Rudi Wiens
YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE
We are thinking of a weekly talk-show on fatherhood. We need $50 per week, $2,600 per year in order to cover the cost of the talk-show host and some assistance for special guests in studio.