July 30, 2012
The former Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan is in the process of further tightening religious censorship with the alleged objective to check growing extremism and terrorism, ignoring warnings that such a move will help, rather than hinder, violent Islamist groups to remain and grow in the country.
Proposed amendments to the existing 2009 Religion Law, which seek to grant state organs almost complete control over religious literature, are likely to be finalized in September, according to Forum 18 News. The country’s parliament will also be in session from Sept. 3.
A new clause that is being proposed for addition to the law, states, “Control on the import, production, acquisition, storage and distribution of printed materials, film, photo, audio and video productions, as well as other materials with the purpose of unearthing religious extremism, separatism and fundamentalism is conducted by the plenipotentiary state organs for religious affairs, national security and internal affairs.” Continue reading “Religious Censorship will Heighten Terror Threat in Kyrgyzstan”
Searching for a Peaceful Graveyard
by William Yoder, Ph.D.
Bad Blankenburg/Germany – No ethnic-Kyrgyz Christian has been a believer for more than two decades, yet already 20% of the country’s Baptists are Kyrgyz. But where are these new believers in Christ to be buried? The nation’s customs dictate that the deceased be buried in the vicinity of their relatives. Yet those confessing Christ are as a rule disowned by their families and stripped of their ancestral home and place of burial. In several instances, the bodies of deceased believers have needed to be reburied or even buried in secret. At this year’s annual conference of the German Evangelical Alliance in Bad Blankenburg, a representative of the Kyrgyz Alliance assured that his organisation has taken on this unusual task: “We are in negotiations with the government about obtaining a piece of property on which Protestant believers can be buried.” Continue reading “For Kyrgyz Protestants, the future remains full of questions”
The Primary Gift is Love
M o s c o w — A sense of unity and love between the Protestant believers of Kyrgyzstan was the overriding impression made on a Russian, three-man/woman reporter team during its three-day visit to that strife-torn country. “The true God unites;” the Protestants concluded. After their return to Moscow on 27 June, they reported: Despite all the destruction the citizens of southern Kyrgyzstan are presently forced to endure, “the primary gift that God has presented to his children in this situation is love.” Though the Baptist Union of Kyrgyzstan does not belong to international Baptist agencies such as the “Baptist World Alliance” (BWA), it naturally expressed great gratitude for the monetary gifts brought by the team of reporters. Their gift included funds from the BWA and European Baptist Federation as well as from the Baptist Unions of Germany and Russia.
Continue reading “Protestant Delegation Visits Ravaged Kyrgyzstan”
June 19, 2010
It was another busy day, but a good day. Early in the day, there was talk of removing the barricade (a large bus, a 40 ft container, and several trees) to allow cars to more freely come in. But the Uzbeks are still scared to death that the Kyrgyz military will come in and attack again. They were trying to forcibly remove the barricade. In any case, there was a back way to bring in the aid and I think the right person was found to take care of the distribution. I just communicated with the Red Cross and with our community leaders to get a good system in place. I did not want to be directly involved with the distribution for fear of being accused of favoritism. However I did tell the different community leaders that I would be doing random checks to see if the aid had been fairly distributed.
Continue reading “Update from a Christian leader in Osh”
A few days ago I was receiving a phone call from an editor of Christianity Today, asking for Christian contacts in Kyrgyzstan.
Yesterday the American Evangelical journal published a short article on the situation of Christians in Kyrgyzstan after the recent ethnic trouble in Osh, west of the country. The author is William Yoder, the CT correspondant in Moscow. Here is a fragment: Continue reading “Christianity Today on the troubled Christians in Kyrgyzstan”