The breakup of the Soviet Union flung the doors open to the lands of 50 million Muslims. Workers flooded into Soviet Central Asia in the nineties, eager to engage those who had been isolated so long from the Good News.
Their initiative was rewarded. By the early 2000s, thousands of Central Asian Muslims had become followers of Jesus in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. One Kazakh pastor remembered, “In those days, we’d get together Saturday evening to pray and prepare Bible studies. The next day, anywhere from three to 20 Muslims would repent from their sins and become saved. This happened every week – month after month! We just thought it was normal.” Dreams, healings and miracles occurred regularly.
In other Central Asian countries, China included, the breakthroughs among Muslims were just as real, even if the numbers were less dramatic than in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
But leaner times followed. Persecution, materialism, and disillusionment thinned the ranks by as much as 50% in some countries. Though all of the major Central Asian Muslim people groups – Uighurs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmen – experienced breakthroughs, on average less that one half of one percent of the populations are Christ followers.
With the mass exodus of foreign workers, local leaders have been challenged to take initiative and ownership of God’s work in Central Asia. Growth has been slow and incremental, but encouraging. Additionally, fledgling initiatives have sprung up to take the Good News to Muslims further afield with remarkable early success.
- Boldness for Central Asian believers to share their faith. New religious laws and persecution have caused many to succumb to fear.
- Encouragement and spiritual vitality for Christian leaders, personally, in their families and in their communities
- Holy Spirit inspired faith and creativity for followers of Jesus to see their financial needs met. Most of the early work was driven by foreign funds that have since dried up.
- Divine blessing on the mission initiatives coming out of China and Soviet Central Asia. These sending efforts have the potential to advance the Gospel in the remaining task in unprecedented ways.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them; and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44
April 24th marks the beginning of 30 days of prayer and fasting among Muslims. This is their holy month. It is a time to seek God and be with community. During this important religious time, we pray that many Muslims encounter the true God.
Ramadan 2020 will be remarkably different from all others in living memory, possibly in all history. Instead of the typical communal Ramadan experience, many will face this time under some level of quarantine. They will be forced out of their beloved traditions, facing uncertainty and fear. This unrest presents tremendous opportunity for Muslims to look to the source of true peace. We passionately pray they find the Lord of Peace and eternal freedom!
To focus our prayers, we will join with the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World initiative. Since the idea was first envisioned in 1992, believers around the world unite every year to pray for Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
The 10/10 initiative maintains focus on praying for 10% of Muslims to be saved. We also seek to partner with other prayer initiatives. Our open partnership with 30 days of Prayer for the Muslim World is one such example. All our posts during the 30 days of Ramadan are made with permission.
You may order a complete adult or children’s prayer guide through the site above. The guides are an excellent resource for families and communities.