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Parliament building - Photo: Wikipedia / Adam Harangozó
Parliament building in Bishkek
Photo: Wikipedia / Adam Harangozó (cc)

If adopted, a draft law prepared by the State Commission for Religious Affairs would continue to ban any worship meetings and religious education from operating without state permission throughout the country of Kyrgyzstan. In addition, this potential new law would make the registration of small religious communities very difficult, if not impossible.

According to the proposed legislation, a minimum of 200 adult members all living within the same region is required when applying for registration as a religious community. The members of each church community will then be required to gather in person for an official meeting so full personal details can be recorded and notarized.

Religious communities would also need to obtain registration for any facility used for worship, whether it be owned or rented. However, there are concerns that the extensive registration process will prevent landlords from fulfilling the commission's excessive demands. Zhanara Askar kyzy, a Christian lawyer who is diligently working to oppose the new legislation, argues that under these new rules, it would be impossible for some religious groups to meet in rented premises. For such cases are further complicated by mandates requiring the meeting address to be the same as the legal address of the organization – a condition not feasible for churches renting a facility only a few hours each week.

A further consequence of the proposed law is that any private religious training would be banned. The law declares, "Teaching religious disciplines on an individual basis outside a religious educational institution is prohibited." On a positive note, the new law would remove a ban on the distribution of religious publications in public places. For more on the challenges facing Christians in Kyrgyzstan, go to our country report.

Ask God to grant the concerned lawyers and religious leaders wisdom and discernment as they present their arguments before parliament, particularly as they address aspects of the proposed law that would hinder church groups from gathering together for worship. May the judicial legislators debating this potential law clearly consider the ramifications of the new requirements and come to a reasonable and equitable decision. While this subject is being deliberated in court, pray that the churches in Kyrgyzstan will discover innovative ways to effectively reach out to others in their communities with the powerful, life-transformative message of Christ.

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Country Information

5,964,897 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Kyrgyz (73.5), Uzbek (14.7), Russian (5.5), Dungan (1.1), Other (5.2)

Religion (%)
Muslim (90), Russian Orthodox (3), other (7)

President Sooronbay Jeenbekov

Government type
Parliamentary Republic

Legal system
Civil law system, which includes features of French civil law and Russian Federation laws

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Kyrgyzstan

Ask the Lord to empower these church leaders and their congregation members so they can lovingly and boldly proclaim the Gospel in Kyrgyzstan (Ephesians 6:18-20). Also intercede on behalf of the country's political leaders, who not only need wisdom to justly govern the nation but also eternal salvation through a personal and meaningful encounter with the Risen Christ. May it represent the beginning of spiritual revival throughout this land.


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Kyrgyzstan News

  • Violent Attacks Against Christians
    Tamchi Police Station - Photo: Wikimedia/Vmenkov www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Vmenkov
    Tamchi Police Station
    Photo: Wikimedia/Vmenkov (cc)

    In October 2018, a young Christian, Eldos Sattar uuly, sustained a broken jaw and other injuries after a violent attack in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan (see this report). While those responsible were charged, they were sentenced to house a

  • Young Convert Suffers Severe Beating
    Kyrgyz believers studying the Bible - Photo: Barnabas Fund www.barnabasfund.org
    Pray for the Christians in Kyrgyzstan who experience ongoing threats due to their faith.
    Photo: Barnabas Fund

    A young Christian in the village of Tamchi, Kyrgyzstan, was left fighting for his life after three Muslim men badly beat him on October 17th. The attackers cornered Eldos, a 25-year-old conv

  • Church Comprising Converts Ordered Closed

    A family in Kyrgyzstan - Photo: Unsplash / Oziel Gomez
    Pray that the Gospel will continue to reach hearts throughout Kyrgyzstan.

    A church in Kyrgyzstan, attended by many former Muslims, has been ordered to cease operations. Twice in the past few months, Sunday services have been interrupted by a group consisting of local officials, representatives from