16 February 2016
Many countries in Central Asia are in the Open Doors 2016 World Watch List - Uzbekistan is number 15, Turkmenistan is 19, Tajikistan is 31, Azerbaijan is 34, and Kazakhstan is 42. Christians in this region are often monitored and controlled by their governments, but converts can also face attack from their communities and family members.
Our contacts in Central Asia have asked for our prayers for some of our brothers and sisters:
Pray for sister Indira* (31). Her husband Temir* is not a believer and recently started beating her. When Indira prayed to receive Christ two years ago and Temir found out about it, he didn't respond negatively. However, Indira started telling relatives about her new faith, and now Temir is very aggressive towards her.
Please ask God to protect Indira and change Temir's heart towards her.
Pray for brother Adeel*, who has been following Jesus for 10 years. About two months ago, local police arrested him and asked about his faith. He answered that he is a disciple of Isa Massih (Jesus). The police conducted a search of his house, took away his laptop and phone. The policemen saw several sermons on his devices and began to beat him.
They interrogated Adeel to find out where he got the sermons and literature. They threatened him and said that they would arrest him again and put him into prison if he continued preaching about Christ, and that other believers from his church would also be imprisoned. After several hours they released him, fined him and didn't give back his laptop.
Please pray for Adeel, for his security and persistence in faith.
Pray for sister Sadia*. She came to faith about twenty years ago, when she was very young. Through her witness her family became Christians.
She married Arslan*, a Muslim man who didn't mind her faith. But after the birth of their first child, he hardened against Christianity and the church. He said to his wife: "If you go to the church or say any word about your Christ, I will imprison you." He was one of the police officers of their town, so this threat was a very real possibility.
Sadia was very upset about this, but she continued to visit a house church secretly, where sisters and brothers prayed for her. When Arslan found out, he beat her severely and such incidents occurred many times. Once he even kicked her out of the house with their three children. The church sheltered Sadia then and supported her for some time. Soon Arslan allowed her to return home but prohibited her from meeting with other Christians, so Sadia couldn't go to church for several years.
They lived with Arslan's parents who kept a tight control on Sadia. They abused and oppressed her, and forced her to do hard work. They also forced Sadia to fast and pray as a Muslim - if she refused, they beat her.
For many years she suffered for her faith and couldn't escape - sometimes she didn't want to live. She told one sister from her church, who visited her once: "Just one thought helps me to survive - Christ died so that I could live."
The church continued to pray for Sadia all the time and God answered their prayers - Sadia's children also came to faith. From that moment she wasn't alone and they encouraged each other, although now they all experience persecution.
Please pray for Sadia and her children - pray for their spiritual growth and protection. Pray also for Arslan's salvation.
*Names changed for security reasons
Source: Open Doors