The Pathway to Survival : The Narrow Path - Part 2
                        Video Download                          DVD Information

                       16 Jan 2009


The legend associated with the Baiterek Tower in Astana symbolizes a mystic time when a dragon continually destroyed the hopes and dreams of the Kazakh people.  But, 400 years ago there were many real dragons facing the steppe nomads as they searched for the pathway to nationhood.  This search turned out to be littered with destruction, disappointment and exploitation.  It was a time when survival was uncertain, … when the future was in the hands of powerful dragons. 

After accepting the religion of Islam, the Kazakhs organized themselves into three different groups commonly called hordes.  A sage led each horde.  One of the objectives was to reduce tribal conflicts.  However, the greatest threat to the Kazaks was the Russian Empire to the North and The Dzungars from western China. 

The Dzungar threat was so intense that the Kazakhs formed an alliance with Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia; thus, achieving some measure of protection. 

Conflicts were reduced as the Russian Army built forts, cities, towns and farms all across the Steppe.  Soon it became evident to the Kazakh leadership, … including Abai Khan, … that Russia was using the alliance to control the nomads.  Still, in 1871, about 100 years after Abai’s death, Kazakhstan was absorbed into the vast Russian Empire. 

Russian immigrants, with their technology and skill, set up mining operations and irrigation systems.  The Russian language was soon to be forced upon the populace.  They also brought their religious beliefs as Orthodox Churches were built in the towns and cities; but these churches were for the Russians, … not the Kazakhs.  The magnificent Holy Ascension Cathedral in Almaty was built in 1904,  … a demonstration of the power of Imperial Russia and the Orthodox Church.  Nevertheless, as Russian Orthodoxy was moving into Kazakhstan, the Evangelical Christians were moving across much of Russia.

·        In St. Petersburg, German evangelist Johann Oncken was working among the aristocrats in 1864. 

·        In Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, Nikita Voronin was baptized in 1867, … the very first Russian Baptist Believer. 

·        About the same time in the Ukraine, German factory workers were studying the Bible during their lunch hour. 

 The rapid growth of the evangelical believers alarmed the Orthodox Church and by 1880, persecution began as a government policy.   

The imprisonment and exiling of Evangelicals did not stop the Movement across Russia.  Likewise, the Russifying of Kazakhstan continued as more and more Russians moved south settling in the Steppe.  By the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, 42% of the Kazakhstan population was Russian.   

During the instability caused by the Bolshevik Revolution and the ensuing Civil War, Kazakhstan rebelled against Russia and achieved independence only to lose freedom again in two years. 

The Kazakhs paid a high price for the short interlude of freedom … over one million lives lost.  The iron hand rule of Lenin, … and later of Stalin, … denied basic rights including freedom of religion.  The Kazakhs were also required to deliver a major part of their produce to the communist government.  This, … along with severe weather, … resulted in the starvation of over 2 million Kazakhs during the next ten years.  And, if this was not enough, Kazakhstan became the dumping ground for political, religious and criminal prisoners. 

Today, the people look to the future as they freely cross the Ishim River in Astana, the new capital of the independent Republic of Kazakhstan.  Of those in these cars, very few experienced the horrendous 70 years in which the pathways to survival were all but gone.  It was a time when the hope of the Gospel could not be openly proclaimed to the people of Kazakhstan. 

Scripture Overlay: 
Let us hold tightly, without wavering,

to the hope we affirm, for God can be

trusted to keep His promise.

Hebrews 10:23 NLT


Abai                            uh-BYE

Almaty                        ahl-MAH-tee

Astana                        AHS-tahn-ah

Baiterek                     BYE-ter-ek

Bolshevik                   BOWL-sheh-vick

Ishim                           EE-shem

Johann Oncken            YOH-hahn OWN-ken

Dzubgar                             Zuun gar

Nikita Voronin            Neh-KEY-tah vor-OWN-in

Tblisi                           te-BLEE-see




Statement About Video Use

The videos and other media material produced by CRF Media are to be used as a resource material for increasing the awareness of and involvement with the specific people groups featured in the material.  The information is made available to evangelical Christian organizations and individuals who commit to sharing the information with others.

The videos produced by CRF Media are not for sale.  They are free to qualified organizations and individuals with no postage or handling charges. We mail the material only to churches or other qualified organizations.  We do not mail to individuals without independent qualifying verification.

U.S. copyright laws protect all media material produced by CRF Media. The material is not to be copied for distribution without the written consent of CRF Media.

Contact us for more information.