“It proves that Christianity was present here in Kazakhstan before Islam. It is a door opening for evangelism and talking about Jesus.”
This summer, archaeologists working along the border of China and Kazakhstan discovered eight gravestones, seven of which were clearly inscribed with crosses. One stone indicates a date of A.D. 1162, and the discovery is prompting a Kazakh pastor to rejoice. He told a reporter at Christianity Today, “God is going to use this and open doors.”
Kazakhstan, which is 70 percent Muslim, is a nation which often associates Christianity as an unwelcome parasite from 18th century Russian conquest and colonization, and the scars from the nation’s subjugation under the Soviet regime add to the misinformation. For many years, Bibles were only available in Russian and many Kazakhs reject Christianity on these grounds alone.
Christianity “part of the identity of being a Kazakh”
Thomas Davis, a member of the archaeological field team, remarked, “If Christianity is present in Kazakh history before it is imperially imposed, then it is something that is part of the identity of being a Kazakh.” Other Kazakh believers are rejoicing at this evidence of Christian history in Kazakhstan, exclaiming “Nobody can tell me that I don’t have Christian roots.”
“How precious to me are Your thoughts, oh God. How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with You.” — Ps. 138:17-18
11/23 — Pray for Kazakh believers to be encouraged by this discovery, and to use this moment as an opportunity to witness to their Muslim neighbors.
11/24 — Pray that God will open the door to a new era for His justice, peace and truth to be evident in Kazakhstan.
11/25 — Pray that Kazakh Christians will be emboldened in their faith by this discovery, but not rely upon an archaeological find to be the foundation of their faith. Pray that instead they rest in their security in Christ’s undisputed victory over Satan and the grave.
11/26—Pray for Kazakh Christians to withstand what will probably be a withering counter-attack from Muslims over the legitimacy and implications of the archaeological discovery. Pray that these Christians appropriate the helmet of salvation — that they maintain a clear understanding of the truth of Jesus in the face of the Enemy’s lies.
11/27 — Pray that Kazakh Muslims begin to question the other “truths” of Islam. Pray that this questioning leads them to the real truth of Jesus Christ. Pray for a subsequent great harvest among Kazakh Muslims.
11/28— Pray for Kazakh Christians to live in sweet and precious unity with one another, for His glory. (Psalm 133:1) Pray that their see their “ethnicity” in Christ rather than in their country and culture.
11/29 — Ask God to fill Kazakh Christians with His joy; ask that they rest in His Truth no matter what happens as a result of the gravestone discovery.
11/30 — Pray that pastors and teachers in Kazakhstan will rely on Scripture and Christ’s example while ministering.