Story Central Asia | 6-5-2023

A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Former KGB agent leads House Church in Central Asia


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This article is a first-hand account by an Open Doors partner from his visit to Central Asia.

This is a small house church that meets in a suburb of a city in Central Asia. As myself and a colleague make our way to join a group of about fifteen believers to worship God we pass by people going about their business on this quiet, grey ,and overcast Sunday morning.

We arrive outside a Soviet-era tower block. There are many such buildings still standing long after the collapse of Communism. After checking we have the right address we ring a bell, enter the building, and make our way up to the fifth floor via a non-descript elevator. When the doors open we are met by a young man with a smile on his face. We are in time for the ten o’clock service.

This is a secret service led by a former member of the Russian secret service, the KGB. After coming to Christ and leaving the shadowy world of surveillance, Tahir (pseudonym) is now a pastor and we are ushered into his home.


The living room has been cleared and seating placed around the edges. Some people have already arrived and we are given a warm welcome. I see young families, men and women, young and old. As the service begins the men sit on one side and the women and children on the other. I notice that the people’s clothing were a mixture of traditional and modern. And while no one there speaks English, we quickly learn to communicate through smiles and gestures.

Always mindful of who might be listening - the tactics of the KGB hard to forget - we quietly sing hymns together. Sitting on mats on the floor, we listen to Tahir speak and then it is my turn to share a word from the Lord. With the help of an interpreter I speak about persevering in our faith and encouraged those listening that Christians around the world are praying for them. I also share that they were like many around the world suffering for Christ, but that they are not alone.

After two hours of fellowship it is time to leave. The small congregation will stay for food and to encourage one another. We leave with a real sense of their struggle but also hope. Our brothers and sisters on the frontlines of persecution are trusting God for their future.

please pray
Pastor Tahir's requests for prayer:
  • That new believers would receive more strength and courage to share the Gospel.
  • That God would raise evangelists to speak the Good News to society.
  • Many have left the country because of the poor economic situation which in turn depletes the church of members. May Christians have the heart to stay and make their future here.
  • May God protect the house church. It is too small to be registered and that is why it has to stay secret. May the eyes of neighbours and officials be blind to our meetings.
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