Discovering God in Kyrgyzstan
Discovering God in a predominantly Islamic country is no easy journey. In a world where hearts have grown cold, it’s easy to lose hope and sight of anything good. FEBC Kyrgyzstan is changing that for many people and restoring their hope. Families are being restored, and people are giving their hearts to Christ and experiencing transformative power in their lives. What surprises us is that situations that seem hopeless somehow have a way of turning around dramatically once people begin to listen to our programs and join a local church.
Christianity is relatively new to the people of Kyrgyzstan. The earliest churches only came into existence in the 1990s. The body of believers in the country is considered a ‘first-generation church’. To a certain extent, FEBC Kyrgyzstan has a major role to play in laying down the foundation for the future of Christianity.
Ulanbek, Director of FEBC Kyrgyzstan, was 18 years old and Muslim when he heard the gospel for the first time. Since God radically transformed his heart, he has dreamed of preaching the gospel in Mecca at The Hadj. He is the leader of a dynamic young team of broadcasters in Kyrgyzstan who share the gospel with millions of families throughout the country every day. Their vision is to expand their radio ministry into Uzbekistan. They also make use of digital platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to reach more people with the Good News. This year, their goal is to have 10,000 views on all of their content across all digital platforms.
Kyrgyzstan welcomes every religion and allows its citizens to practice their chosen faith freely. However, 90% of the country adheres to Islam, to some extent. New Christians – and the Christian community at large – face many challenges and are often persecuted by their family members.
FEBC Kyrgyzstan has remained open despite the pandemic and the many challenges they faced with political instability in the country.
“Through our programs and broadcasts, we try and convey Biblical values and influences for society, and we believe that our work is necessary and important,” shares one of the managers from FEBC Kyrgyzstan.
Six stations share the truth of God’s Word with more than one million listeners across the country. Zukhra, a small business owner, lives in a small village in Kyrgyzstan and recently contacted one of FEBC’s stations to share her story with the team.
“I decided to call you because you were talking about what I need, and that is hope. No one talks about things like that nowadays. With all my success as a businesswoman, I am dealing with a husband who is an alcoholic and a son who recently attempted to commit suicide,” she shares.
Our team in Kyrgyzstan visited Zukhra at her home, brought her Christian literature, and spoke with her about the Gospel. Zukhra has been visiting the church in a nearby village for several months and her son has also now accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
There are so many stories of listeners who experienced adverse circumstances and through their exposure to our broadcasts, have seen a complete turnaround in their lives. Like this 28-year-old lady who reached out to our team in Kyrgyzstan. She shared:
“I’ve been praying regularly for a few years now, even five times a day. My parents and closest relatives strictly adhere to the Islamic faith. I’ve read the Quran and various Hadiths a lot, but I have never heard about God’s love in the way you present it on the radio. I would like to go to church and become a Christian, but I’m afraid to change my faith. Help me, what should I do?”
Our team contacted the young lady and explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ to her. She accepted every word with tears and asked to become our student. May the Lord give her wisdom to become Christ’s light within her extended family.
FEBC Kyrgyzstan broadcasts the gospel 24/7 through a network of six FM stations, after only having started with one station in Bishkek ten years ago. Program content presented varies from daily topical talk shows to local news and events. Six hours of uplifting music is also aired in between shows. People of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, and educational backgrounds listen to their programs.
One of the programs they present is a talk show called “Ashar” (Mutual Support), hosted by two Christian women. Both broadcasters also have training in psychology. They listen to the problems of listeners, analyse them and provide them with practical advice on air.
Another one of their popular programs is “Apalar Maktebi” (School of Mothers). In this show, they share tips for raising children. The host focuses on sharing information about how to care for children’s emotional, moral and spiritual education.
These and other programs are an opportunity to impart Biblical principles and provide listeners with an opportunity to respond to God speaking into their lives. Over the past year our partner ministry, FEBC Kyrgyzstan, has received more than half a million calls, letters, and other communications. These numbers speak multitudes, and God receives all the glory for the souls being added to His Kingdom daily.