KYRGYZSTAN – CHRISTIANS FAST AND PRAY FOR STABILITY

Barnaas Fund. Christians have come together in Kyrgyzstan to pray for the stability of their country following a bloody uprising in early April. At least 80 people were killed and up to 1,500 injured in violence that broke out in the capital, Bishkek, on Tuesday 6 April, prompted by dissatisfaction over rising prices and allegations of corruption. There was widespread looting of businesses and government premises across the city, leaving a trail of destruction. The country’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who came to power five years ago during the Tulip Revolution when then-President Akayev was overthrown, was forced to flee the city. He initially insisted that he would not resign and said that any attempts to arrest him would result in “a great deal of bloodshed which no-one will be able to justify”. However, on 26 April, it was reported that Bakiyev is now in prison, having been detained by Russian law enforcement agencies in Moscow.

 An interim government, headed by opposition politician Rosa Otunbayeva, was established and a degree of calm has now returned to the city with police patrolling the streets, but the country is still considered to be in a precarious state. Three days after the turmoil began, Barnabas Fund’s coordinator for the Former Soviet Union reported that Christian church leaders in Kyrgyzstan had gathered for prayer and action. Groups of Christians were giving practical help in the chaos, visiting hospitals, caring for the wounded, assisting with cleaning the streets and helping to restore damaged public buildings. The church leaders also organised four days of prayer and fasting for their country, from 9 to 12 April.

• Please pray for stability in this small and very poor state. Pray that the interim government will work to reach a peaceful and satisfactory resolution to the crisis. • Pray for those who were wounded or lost loved ones in the recent bloodshed, that they may find comfort in the Lord Jesus.• Please lift our brothers and sisters in Kyrgyzstan to the Lord in prayer; ask for greater tolerance from local authorities towards Christians and that the change of government will result in increased liberty for all citizens including greater freedom for Christians to worship and witness. 

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