Pray for Kyrgyzstan

8 June 2017 / Day 13

Kyrgyzstan: A Nation of Mountains

Kyrgyzstan was a republic of the former Soviet Union until it gained independence in 1991. It is the only parliamentarian republic in the region. This mountainous country (the highest peak is 7439 meters) is home to approximately 6 million people and 75{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of the population are Sunni Muslims. The practice of Islam was quite shallow under Soviet rule but has steadily strengthened over the last 25 years.

Due to a difficult economic situation in the country, many people have been forced to earn money abroad, often under very difficult circumstances: 16 young Kyrgyz women were killed in a Moscow warehouse fire in August 2016, for example. Children left behind are often looked after by grandparents or other relatives; some are even sent to orphanages so their parents can go to work. Though their everyday needs are provided for, many children grow up with the feeling of being abandoned and unloved because of separation from their families.

Image by Evgeni Zotov via Flickr | Creative Commons

Mothers of sons play a very large role in Kyrgyz family structure, controlling everything. Daughters-in-law are often treated like slaves. If they don’t become pregnant during the first two years of marriage, the husband is often forced by his mother to dismiss his wife and marry another woman.

In addition, bride kidnapping is still very common, particularly in rural areas. Young women might be kidnapped and forced to marry a stranger. Many Kyrgyz wives in desperate situation believe that suicide is their only way out.

The first Kyrgyz house groups and churches were planted in the 1990s and began teaching Christian principles for family life, of love and service to one another.  However, it is very difficult for believers to profess their faith in Christ within traditionally close family structures – they often face hostility and are ostracized by their family or friends.

How to Pray

  • For the economic situation to improve so that families don’t have to choose between living together and providing financially.
  • For mothers of sons to use their influence to encourage their sons to build loving marriages and do what is best for their daughters-in-law.
  • For Christian families to challenge cultural expectations and demonstrate family relationships characterized by love and serving one another.

2 Comments

  1. Lord, may your truth be deeply embedded in the hearts of your people in this country. May they know your Love for themselves on an individual level. May they know You individually and enter into your kingdom one by one and so be transformed. May new family dynamics be formed, the family dynamics that you established from the beginning: husbands loving wives, and husbands leaving fathers and mothers and clinging to his wife. A husband should not abandon his wife if she cannot produce a child, nor should a mother in law encourage such a practice, for a wife is for life. When your truth sinks into their hearts this truth will embed itself, too. Improve their economic situation, Father. I know you will because I am asking all these things in Jesus’s name as he said I could and I believe you will answer, just as Jesus said you would.

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