Kazakhstan recently abolished the death penalty after ceasing executions for almost twenty years. Eric Mock of the Slavic Gospel Association says Kazakhstan has been tinkering with its penal code ever since becoming an independent country when the Soviet Union fell.
Mock says, “We see different updates on how the criminal system is handled in a country like Kazakhstan. But the product is that there are a lot of people that were arrested and saw prison times for lesser crimes, as well as greater crimes.” In fact, many Christians in Kazakhstan have served prison time as well.
From prison to ministry
Some estimate as many as one in four pastors in Kazakhstan had been in prison before being called into ministry, Mock says. “Very often you’ll meet missionaries who came to faith in prison and are now zealously reaching others with the Gospel. Not only in Kazakhstan, but in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. There seems to be a constant theme where people that feel that they were at the point of losing everything are the primary ones who have given everything for the sake of the Gospel.”
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SOURCE: Mission News Network, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask God to strengthen Kazakh Christians as they proclaim Christ in an often hostile environment.
- Consider supporting Kazakh churches through SGA’s Christ over COVID program.