We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

Central Asia: ‘I can pray for you as well’


Across Central Asia, Christian young people are facing threats, violence and exclusion because of their choice to follow Jesus. Many of these states have large Muslim populations, or have oppressive government systems that try to stifle free speech and the rights of people to choose what they believe. Christianity is often seen as a western religion, and therefore Christians are traitors.

In this context, Christian young people can face some pretty harsh treatment. We’ve heard recent reports of discrimination at school from teachers and violence from other young people – towards children and teenagers. But despite the darkness, there is light. Young people are shining God’s love and showing others who Jesus is.

‘I can pray for you as well..’

In one central Asian country, a police officer had been tasked with finding and arresting a Christian pastor who had been holding underground church meetings. The policeman had identified the pastor and went to his house, ready to arrest him.

On arriving at the house the policeman was greeted by the pastor’s young daughter daughter – she was no more than 10 years old. He asked the girl if her father was home.

The girl answered, “No, my father isn’t home… Would you like to come in and wait for him?”

The man agreed and was shown into the house where he could wait for the father.

After some time the girl approached the police officer and said, “My father is obviously going to be longer than I thought. I have already begun to prepare dinner – would you like to have some food while you wait?”

The man gratefully accepted the invitation.

After the girl had served dinner for them both at the table she said, “we usually pray before we eat – do you do the same?”

The commander looks at her and says, “No, I don’t pray before I eat”.

The girl said, “Never mind, I can pray for you as well.”

So she starts to pray – “Heavenly father. Thank you very much that you are taking care of us. Thank you very much for this food in front of us. Also, thank you Lord, for bringing this good man into our house. Will you bless our fellowship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The police officer was amazed by this prayer. This girl is thanking God for him! He knew that he wasn’t a ‘good man’ – he had done many bad things. And he knew the real reason that he was there to see this girl’s father.

A little while after they had finished eating, the pastor arrived home. Instead of taking him away, the police officer told the man about the little girl’s prayer and how much it had touched him. He then began to ask questions about their faith.

Before the police officer left that evening, he had become a follower of Jesus Christ as well!

This story happened a few years ago, and for security reasons we can’t share the names of anyone involved – the policeman is still protecting the underground church that the pastor still leads!


Hevenly Father, be with children in Central Asia, especially those whose parents have made the decision to follow You. Lord, You know how they are being treated, You know how they suffer from discrimination and how much pain they experience. But Lord, we know that that You can come alongside them, that You can bless them and You can help them to stand strong. Bring them peace and comfort, bless them and let them know your love and protection. Help them to stay strong to endure persecution. Let them experience Your are close to them. In Jesus name, Amen.

Want to know more?
  • 1
    Order a free 2021 World Watch List map

    and learn about the places where following Jesus costs the most.

    Get free
  • 2
    Join us at our first ever youth Standing Strong Online Live event

    and hear stories of brave faith direct from young Christians in places like Laos and the Middle East.

    Sign up
May 13, 2024

“Christians are targeted all over India. There is not a single state in India that is safe for Christians. Pastors and believers are attacked, threatened and arrested on false charges, while churches and Christian institutions are attacked or forced to close down.”

Find out more
May 13, 2024

Reports say that the military council has burned down more than 400 houses, including five Christian churches, in a village in the Sagaing Region…

Find out more
May 7, 2024

Please pray for Mahfuza, a church leader from Bangladesh facing threats and intimidation from neighbours for her faith in Jesus…

Find out more
April 29, 2024

An Open Doors partner explains how and why Christians face persecution in many parts of India.

Find out more
April 22, 2024

Christians in Iran face many challenges from extremist authorities and the current situation across the Middle East will only add to the pressures. Check out these ways to pray now…

Find out more
April 22, 2024

Lydia Simon was rescued by the Nigerian Army, in an answer to the committed prayers of Christians in Nigeria and around the world.

Find out more
April 15, 2024

Pray for teenager Dudul who was falsely accused and attacked by a mob because of his faith in Jesus.

Find out more
April 15, 2024

“We have the right to teach our children about our faith and religion. We are not doing any wrong by conducting this Sunday school…”

Find out more
April 14, 2024

Join us to pray for the 90 young women still missing ten years since the tragic kidnapping of 276 girls from their school…

Find out more
April 8, 2024

As a young Christian, Deki was denied access to education because of her faith in Jesus. But now she’s learnt to read and write!

Find out more