What’s the “-stan” mean in those countries’ names?
September 21, 2018
In our prayer journey around the world, have you noticed the number of countries in Central Asia whose names end with the suffix “-stan”? It is Persian and Urdu for “the place of” or “where one stands.”
Study a map and you’ll find it in the names of seven countries: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In most of these titles, the first part of the name refers to an ethnic group that lives in the nation: the Afghanis, the Kyrgyz, the Turks, etc.
Today, we’re praying for the Uzbeks who live in Uzbekistan—they are the largest people group in Central Asia and also the most resistant to the gospel. Tucked under their northern neighbor, Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbeks make up a nation of young people. A recent census discovered that 30% of their population is under age 14. This fact alone makes the sharing of God’s Word an urgent need.
Pray today that the gospel taught on Thru the Bible reaches searching hearts. Most Uzbeks who have access to the gospel live in the cities. The majority of the rural villages have no gospel witness. Intercede for the Uzbek people today; pray that radios would “happen upon” the good news and people would respond in faith to God’s gift of salvation. Pray also that the open door to Uzbekistan would not be hindered by Islamic fundamentalists dominating the region.
Next week, we’ll travel on our knees to the Arabian peninsula. Until then, continue in prayer for the people whom God has put on your heart.