I’m sure we’ve all been outraged by reports of the tragic events in St Petersburg and Stockholm, not forgetting ongoing attacks in Turkey and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. The question many are starting to ask is “Why are these terrorists coming out of Central Asia?”

On one hand we will never fully know what drives people to do terrible things like this, however we see in Central Asia people who live in poverty and oppression, and we know from other regions that this makes fertile ground for terrorists such as ISIS to sow their seeds of hatred. Central Asians have traditionally followed a state approved, fairly benign, form of Islam but this has slowly been changing and the governments are very concerned. New mosques are appearing at an unprecedented rate and reaching out to their communities. The problem governments have is that the more they seek to stamp out this more active expression of Islam the easier it becomes for terrorists to recruit followers. And of course, to appear fair, Christians and other >extremists are oppressed in equal measure by these same governments.

Pray for the governments of Central Asia – as they try to deal with this increasing problem within their borders and that puts them on the world stage for the wrong reasons.

Please pray for the church in Central Asia – to remain strong in the face of the inevitable difficulties ahead. We know that there is no political solution to the world’s big problems that often emanate from this region, pray that the Lord God would give peace and that his name would be glorified.