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Region Central Asia
Leader President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Population 18 064 000
Christian 25%
Main Religion Islam
Government Republic
Rank 28
Score 63
Previous Rank 43
Previous Score 56

“He listens to the evil one. That is why he refused Christ, but my heart is the heart of a mother and as such, holds out hope that he will return to Jesus.”

Life in Kazakhstan is heavily influenced by Islamic standards and laws. Many citizens believe “to be a Kazakh is to be Muslim”. Because of this, those who leave Islam to follow Jesus end up isolated from their communities. It is as if they no longer belong to their own country. Harassment by local police and physical abuse from relatives are some of the pressures Christians face if they refuse to renounce their faith. Believers from a Muslim Background run the risk of being locked up by their own families.

Christians make up 25 percent of the population and life as a minority is difficult. Police are known to film church services revealing believers’ identities. Many are forced to worship in secret. Printing Christian material is illegal, and churches must be registered. Those who can’t get their building registered are raided and fined. Anyone under 18 is legally not allowed to go to church if their parents disagree with it. This makes it difficult for believers with non-Christian parents to grow in their faith.

Open Doors provides immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are imprisoned, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ. We strengthen the persecuted Church in Central Asia primarily through Christian literature distribution, prayer support, biblical training, women’s ministry, vocational training, and more.

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