Bringing the gospel to the Silk Road
September 17, 2018
For thousands of years, a ribbon of trade routes connected the continents of Asia and Europe on what was nicknamed the “Silk Road.”
These routes wound their way through the harsh and forbidding landscape of central Asia, and particularly through the “-stan” countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Spiritually, this is still a harsh and forbidding part of our world. The “-stans” face the ever present reality of poverty, corruption, authoritarian governments, Islamic fundamentalism, alcoholism, and domestic abuse. These countries also share one language: Russian. But even though they were once all part of the Soviet Union, their cultures are radically different than Russia, mostly due to the strong influences of Islam and Asian cultures.
Because of these differences, a special Russian version of the Bible was produced known as Central-Asian Russian Scriptures (CARS). It was designed for Central Asians who read best in Russian but belong to Islamic ethnic groups.
A listener in Kazakhstan wrote this compelling letter. Use the issues he raises to lift up the Kazak people group.
“Everyone in my village is of the Islamic faith. Just imagine me being the only Christian living among all these Muslims. Brothers and sisters, the only thing that makes me happy living here in my village is your radio programs. They encourage me and calm me. All of the books that I had were taken away. Our many churches in this region have been closed. Many brothers and sisters are being persecuted. I am one of them.”
Remember this brother today before God’s throne, as well as other believers on the “Silk Road.”
We journey to the beautiful, puzzling land of Russia tomorrow. Join us on your knees.