Once under the iron fist of the Soviet Union, which sent the church underground, Kazakhstan today allows church leaders to profess faith in Christ and preach the gospel, as long as they stay inside churches and ministry centers.
The same religious freedom is not experienced in many of its neighboring nations that are now closed to the gospel.
But, amid the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of the 131 different ethnic groups in the world’s largest land-locked country, Foursquare National Leader Tomas Tomassov, a citizen of Kazakhstan, has a vision to reach every city and town in Kazakhstan with the gospel.
Fewer than 0.2 percent of the nearly 18 million people in Kazakhstan say they are “born again,” although 26.2 percent claim Christianity (mainly Russian Orthodox). The majority of its residents profess Islam.
“God wants to use us in a great revival for Kazakhstan and all of Central Asia,” Tomas says. It’s a big vision and an opportunity that may not always be available.
Already, some neighboring nations have placed restrictions on Christians sharing their faith. Foursquare Kazakhstan has established a ministry training center in the city of Almaty, where workers from these neighboring nations can be trained to take the gospel home with them and reach the unreached where they live.
Foursquare Germany, Great Britain and the United States have partnered financially with Kazakh ministries toward a goal of training 60 workers each year, and planting between 50 and 70 new churches in Central Asia in the next decade.
Tomas says that, when people from surrounding nations come to Kazakhstan, they feel that “God has kept this place for His purpose.” Already, the leadership team in Kazakhstan has trained 120 people for ministry in the region, and they have helped plant three new churches, proving to be a great example of global Foursquare leaders following God’s mandate with the Great Commission.
Foursquare ministry in Kazakhstan carries a local vision with far-reaching impact, and the vision is becoming reality. “God is bringing us together to do something great, to go to the ends of the earth,” Tomas says. “Together, we will see God’s glory in our nations.”