Berlin Checkpoint Charlie-10 Nov 1989（Source: Wikimedia Commons）
The Berlin Wall appeared on 13 August 1961. Open Doors’ founder, Brother Andrew, was one of the first to pass through Checkpoint Charlie. He has vivid memories of the impact of the Wall: “The flow of refugees from life under communist rule was stopped overnight. There was no way out, no one could escape. The result was a wave of suicides, including some evangelical pastors. They lost hope.”
On 9 November 1989, the world changed. The Berlin Wall, the most visible symbol of the division between East and West, was dismantled as people asserted their longing for freedom.
Praise God that in the 30 years since the Berlin Wall fell, Central Asia has seen a remarkable and wonderful revival, particularly among Muslims. In 1989 there were less than 1,000 Christians among the traditional Muslim populations of Central Asia, but now it is estimated that there are 320,000 believers from Muslim backgrounds in these former Soviet states!
This revival really began in the 1990s, in the era of openness. However, after 1998 there was a significant exodus of foreign ministries and missionaries, as doors were slammed shut by various governments, and the church has faced many challenges. But thanks to your support and prayers, Open Doors continues to work in Central Asia, providing immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are placed in prison, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ.
Please continue to pray for our church family in the states of Central Asia that were once a part of the Soviet Union. Pastor Oleg* leads a church in Uzbekistan that is mainly made up of Muslim background believers. He says, “First of all I would like to say thank you for prayers! It sounds so encouraging that people from other countries are praying for us, I am so grateful for this!
“To feel God’s peace in our hearts in different circumstances, this is what I consider the most important for Christians. Please pray for this.
“Pray also that we would keep the passion for following Isa Massih (Jesus) and for our ministry. Pray for us to be able to resist the pressure with God’s power and not to make ‘steps back’ in our struggle, but win over difficulties. Uzbek Muslim background believers need your prayers!”
*Name changed for security reason
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Central Asia through:
- Literature distribution
- Biblical and vocational training
- Socio-economic development
- Women’s ministry
- Medical ministry