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Country Profile: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, a mountainous country in Central Asia, shares a folk Islam and Russian Orthodox heritage. Kazakhstan covers a vast area of steppe with a population of only 16 million, of which 60% are ethnic Kazakhs, a Turkic people group who used to be animist nomads. They often have only a superficial commitment to Islam and live side by side with many Russians and a small minority of Uighurs. The country is enjoying an economic boom thanks to the huge reserves of oil being exploited by western companies.

Folk Islam predominates in Kazakhstan. There are more than 10,000 Kazakh believers and twenty official fellowships. However, church growth has slowed down since 2000 and Christian witness is largely limited to larger towns. Currently the government is tolerant of evangelical Christians although proposed new laws, tightening the requirements for churches, may limit freedoms in the future.

Missions Gallery
Central Asia

Central Asia :: A young Uzbek woman.  Photo by Kathryn Berry
Central Asia :: In this Central Asian country it is illegal to have Christian meetings in the national language, the Bible is restricted and known Christians are monitored. This makes sharing about Jesus difficult, and as a result, many people have not heard the good news.
Central Asia :: Young prostitutes in Central Asia
Central Asia :: Kazakhstan :: A landscape shot taken of the snowy mountains.
Central Asia :: Young Uzbek dressed for her wedding
Central Asia :: A carpet made from cat pelts
Central Asia :: Butterflies on a mountain plateau
Central Asia :: Health project nurses
Central Asia :: Hot, freshly baked Tajik bread
Central Asia :: Lady baking bread in Tajikistan
Central Asia :: Man carrying hay. In summer many people go to the mountains to collect hay for the winter.
Central Asia :: Man creating a video about a development project

Recent Stories
Central Asia

‘How can I not accept such a Saviour?’

OM Russia’s church-planting ministry reaches out to Uzbeks in Novosibirsk, and over the last four years, they’ve seen dozens come...

The second wave

An OMer in Central Asia, working with women trapped in prostitution, explains a disturbing trend in the industry that she...

God works when the lights go out

An electricity cut offers an opportunity for a Central Asian believer to share stories from the Bible with her family,...

God's business

Running a business in Central Asia with godly principles isn't easy, but God brings one couple faithfully through what could...

Wishing on a mountain iris

Workers in Tajikistan long for the people of the country to replace superstition with trust in their Saviour.

more stories...

Recent Mission Opportunities
Central Asia

Sports Ministry Manager and Trainer New!

Come and pioneer a sports ministry!  This is an exciting opportunity to develop a new program based on methods used...

Start Date: as soon as possible
· Commitment Length: 2-3 years
more information
University Outreach New!

Study Russian or one of the Turkic languages at a university in Central Asia. Living and learning alongside local students,...

Start Date: as soon as possible
· Commitment Length: 1-2 years
more information
English Teacher for Rural Schools Project New!

Central Asian teenagers want to learn English! Since the break-up of the former Soviet Union, English has become a sought-after...

Start Date: January 2013
· Commitment Length: 2 years
more information