Talant in Kazakhstan

Dear Friends,

This week, please intercede with us for Talant in Kazakhstan.

Big Almaty Lake by Akmaral Khudaikulova (Unsplash)

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country by area. In ancient times, Scythian and Turkic nomads inhabited Kazakhstan’s vast steppes. Due to its rich mineral and oil reserves, Kazakhstan also has the largest economy in Central Asia. Derived from Turkish and Persian roots, Kazakhstan’s name means “land of the wanderers.” Once part of the Mongol Empire, Russian Empire, and Soviet Union, Kazakhstan is officially a secular democratic republic today. However, it is internationally regarded as an authoritarian regime with a poor human rights record. According to a 2021 census, 69% of Kazakhstan’s 20 million people are Muslims, 17% are Christians, 11% reported no religion, and 2% identified as atheists.

 
Talant earned his PhD in World Religions (Islamic Studies) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kentucky, USA) in 2023. His research, which investigates the intersection of religious and Kazakh ethnic identities, guides him in strengthening the Church’s witness and ministry in Kazakhstan. 
 
Currently, Talant trains Christian leaders in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, and produces theological resources, including for Kazakh-speaking ethnic Kazakhs, among whom the need for Christian outreach and discipleship is especially great. Although Kazakhstan has the largest Christian population in Central Asia, most Christians are ethnic Russians and part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Available Christian materials, already scarce, are usually in Russian. Talant is one of only three people in Kazakhstan with a seminary doctorate, as well as the only person with a theological PhD who can speak and write fluently in Kazakh.
 
Talant shares the following message:

Greetings from Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Ascension Cathedral (Almaty) by Michael Starkie (Unsplash)

Here are my prayer requests:

We are expecting our fourth child this September. Prayers are needed for the baby’s and my wife’s health. 

Pray for our ministry in Almaty. My ministry primarily involves teaching, preaching, and producing theological literature in Kazakh and Russian. Nina’s ministry focuses on children and teenagers. 

I am presenting a paper at the Yale-Edinburgh 2024 Conference on World Christianity, which will be held at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Your prayers will be much appreciated for my conference preparations and for my family, who will be staying here in Almaty. 

Thank you, 

Talant

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