Kazakhstan is the largest land-locked country in the world (meaning there is no outlet to the oceans). It has vast natural resources and a widely diverse geography. The population of about 18 million is predominantly Kazakh and Muslim; less than 2% would be considered evangelical Christians. Officially freedom of religion is permitted, but religious leaders who oppose the government are suppressed, and in reality, there are heavy restrictions on freedom of assembly, speech and religion. To be a Christian here carries a real possibility of persecution. COAH is currently supporting a church-planter in the city of Almaty.
COAH is supporting Denis Boris, a graduate of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, USA. For the first 9 years of his life, Denis was immersed in a prosperity gospel church; however, upon introduction to the doctrines of grace, he was swept away by the centrality of Christ in the Scriptures.
This church plant is of strategic importance. There are few opportunities for theological training in Kazakhstan, and Denis hopes this ministry may become a base for Reformed training. While there are some zealous Christians working in the church, many of them need more training to avoid falling into theological confusion that is rampant.
By God's grace, a church plant began in 2016. Denis and his wife Zhanara have a number that gather with them each Lord’s day, have developed valuable contacts with other Christian pastors, are leading 2 discipleship groups, do regular counseling, and post regularly on a blog.
Recently the Boris’ have been reaching out to local orphans. Having no family of their own, they are attracted to the family of God. It takes time to overcome their suspicions and to be convinced of their sincerity, but a number of orphans are now attending services regularly.