How many Christians are there in Kazakhstan?
There are 4.8 million Christians in Kazakhstan, which is just over a quarter of the population of 18.6 million. Most of these are Russian Orthodox Christians, who suffer less persecution because they seldom interact with the Kazakh population. Kazakh Christians from a Muslim background face the most persecution.
Why are Christians persecuted in Kazakhstan?
The government in Kazakhstan is constantly working to increase its control over the whole of society, and religious freedom is restricted by legislation dating back to 2011. No religious activities beyond state-run and state-controlled institutions are allowed – and members of Protestant churches are considered foreign enemies. Illegal, unregistered churches are often raided.
“I really was persecuted when I became a believer, as a Muslim.” Bahtor, Kazakhstan
What’s life like for Christians in Kazakhstan?
Christians from Muslim backgrounds often have to keep their faith secret, as they face huge pressure from their families and communities if their new faith is discovered. Some converts are locked up by their families for long periods, beaten and may eventually be expelled from their communities.
That includes people like Bahtor: “Because we live in close communities, every person is under control. If somebody changes his faith it’s a betrayal of his community. They say, ‘You started to believe in the Russian God and many problems are coming.’ So, that’s why they kicked me out of the community.”
How can I help Christians in Kazakhstan
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Kazakhstan. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors strengthens persecuted Christians in Central Asia through Christian literature, training, relief aid, advocacy support and socio-economic development projects.
*Name changed for security reasons
Lord, please change the hearts of those in power in Kazakhstan. We pray that You show them Your power, love and goodness, and that they would cease to stand in the way of Your children worshipping You in freedom and truth.