(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)


On January 3rd, militant Muslims firebombed a church in the village of Kaji-Say, located within Issyk-Kul Region, causing extensive damage to the building and its contents. In the events leading up to the incident, the militants had doused the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church with petrol and set it on fire in what may have been an opposing reaction to a series of outreach meetings that were held in the community. (New regulations in Kyrgyzstan strictly forbid any kind of missionary work.) Thankfully, there were no congregation members in the church at the time of the attack.

After Molotov cocktails were thrown into the church building, the resulting fire had grown to such an extent that its flames completely engulfed the pews and a piece of cloth that was on top of the altar. Amazingly, the flames dissipated just before reaching the open Bible on the altar.

As a result of the Bible's miraculous survival, those affiliated with the destroyed church are further encouraged to stand firm in their faith. To testify of their persevering spirit, the members of this congregation have chosen to stay at the present church location where they have already begun to make necessary repairs. In the meantime, police are continuing with their investigation of the incident.

While churches within the Issyk-Kul Region have faced growing opposition and hostility, this is the first incident involving a firebombing in recent years. Although faced with the fiery flames of persecution, may these believers continue to allow the Holy Spirit to ignite their hearts with His fervent love for the people of their community, including the perpetrators of the attack.