Following news that an Evangelical church in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, was robbed three weeks ago and a church member badly beaten by the assailants, comes news that six other churches in the city have since been attacked.
|Ethnic Uzbeks fleeing violence in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, wait in a border village, hoping to enter Uzbekistan (courtesy of the United Nations)|
Sending details of the original attack, Jed Courley, the church’s pastor, told the ASSIST News Service, “Some of you may have already heard — our church was broken into last night. At about 1:00 in the morning four men climbed over the fence and broke into the back door of the church. A woman, Valya, who was there was badly beaten, tied up with tape, and then beaten more when very little money was found. Rooms trashed, safe demolished. Some music equipment, a computer, and other things were taken.”
Now in follow-up message, Courley, an American, said, “Since the time our church was robbed a few weeks ago, we have heard of six other churches who were robbed recently and a couple of other people also beaten in the process. We heard that it was also four men, which is a similar story to what happened at our church. The police seem to be doing nothing. In one case, they never even arrived on the scene. Please pray against these obvious attacks of the enemy.”
Courley also shared details of a visit by some of his church members to the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, where recent ethnic tensions saw hundreds killed and displaced hundreds of thousands. In the violence, it was reported that Kyrgyz mobs attacked the Uzbek community and looted and burned entire Uzbek neighborhoods. Hundreds of people were murdered and, in the weeks that followed, hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks escaped to refugee camps.
“Earlier this week a team of about a dozen people went to Osh from our church,” Courley told ANS. “They have been passing out food and clothes to Kyrgyz refugees, those in a prison, and with others they met. They have also met with local believers for a time of prayer and encouragement. We just heard that eight people received Jesus in a Kyrgyz refugee camp!
“Yesterday, they handed out clothes to Uzbeks who have lost their homes and live in tents by where their homes burned down. At first, some Kyrgyz from our church were nervous about doing this but, after helping the Uzbeks yesterday, one Kyrgyz girl searched for an Uzbek translators so that today when they passed out food to them, they can share the love of Jesus! The people from Bishkek who went are excited as they got to share the gospel and help those in need there.
“Please continue to lift them up in prayer: for wide open doors to the Gospel and also for safety for the team there and as they make the 12-hour trip back on Saturday.”
Dan Wooding, Assist News