The Wanderers: The Narrow Path - Part 1
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                       14 Jan 2009



The ebb and flow of history has brought together a multitude of peoples to form what is now known as Kazakhstan.  Religious beliefs, political affiliations, lifestyle and physical appearance remain as guide posts for the pathways that individuals, families and ethnic groups follow. 

Originally this vast country was inhabited by nomadic tribes that traveled from place to place in small groups taking all of their possessions with them. 

The term “Kazakh” means “wanderer” or “nomad” and is now the general designation for the indigenous peoples of Kazakhstan. 

Thousands of years ago these wanderers left their mark in pictures, stone carvings and burial sites as they made their pathways across the near featureless steppe.  Over time an advanced culture was developed which was among the first to domesticate the horse. It was used very effectively in tribal conflicts. 

The famous “Golden Man” enshrined atop the monument in Almaty was pieced together from artifacts discovered in 1969. … 4,000 cast gold links and symbols made some 2500 years ago attest to the technical ability of this emerging culture. 

The artifacts also point to the recognition of a supreme being … a god of nature.  But, their path to god was wide. 

They worshipped the mountains, things around them, their ancestors and articles made by hand.   

During that time, no one showed them the narrow path to the true God. 

Eventually, information derived from the Silk Road traversing near the southern part of the country became a pathway to discover more about the world and about God.  This was the pathway used by the early Christians.  During the first millennium after Christ, the Catholic Church and later the Nestorian Christians brought the Gospel to the Kazakhs. The overall impact was limited and the narrow path to faith in Jesus was all but torn asunder by the relentless advance of Islam beginning around 700 A.D.  

Even though the word Islam means peace in Arabic, wars continued.  In the 1200’s, it was Genghis Kahn and the hordes from the East followed in the 1400’s by the brutal destruction by Tamerlane and his well-equipped armies.  Finally, by the 1500’s, the tribes of the steppe began to coalesce into a unified force and under the ever-present banner of Islam.  Even so, the people continued to hold onto their animistic beliefs of the past … beliefs that remain today.   Yet, one can often hear the statement, “I am Kazakh and, therefore, Muslim.”   


For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 

Overlay:  Romans 1:20  

Overlay:  Pray that the people of Kazakhstan will desire to know God


Genghis Kahn            GEN-gis (soft g’s)



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