New Life Church in Taraz (Kasachstan)
The New Life Church (Церковь
Новая Жизнь) is located in the city of Taraz in Kazakhstan. Taras is not only one of the oldest cities in Kazakhstan, but also the former hometown of our chairman Johannes Justus.
In 2023, Johannes visited his home country and met the pastor of this church, Yerzhan Ushanov. A friendship began to develop.
Pastor Yerzhan Ushanov, together with his wife Zulfiya, actually serves in two churches in the two cities of Taraz and Shymkent, as there is currently no other pastor in Shymkent.
Our people on the spot
Pastor Yerzhan Ushanov and his wife Zulfiya are our contacts in Kazakhstan. They come from the town of Oral in western Kazakhstan.
In 1996, they accepted Jesus as their Savior. In 1998, they moved to Almaty to study at a Bible school. After graduation, they stayed in Almaty and served there for 5 years as assistant pastor and secretary of the Kazakh church “Zhana Omir”.
In 2003 they felt that the Lord was calling them to Taraz and so they came to their current place of ministry.
Persecution in Kazakhstan
They have been serving with their family in the city of Taraz for more than 20 years now. In those 20 years, they have experienced a lot of persecution from various sides. The years 2009-2012 were especially difficult as the church and Pastor Yerzhan were attacked by the Supreme Court. However, by God’s power and grace, Pastor Yerzhan and the church were acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2012.
A law that came into force in September 2011 restricts religious freedom in the country. The Kazakh government is using the threat posed by Islam to exert stricter control over society. This control manifests itself through increased surveillance, raids during gatherings and arrests. The main burden of state persecution is borne by local Christians with a Muslim background, both through state measures and through problems in the family and social environment.
Strengthening his church in Kazakhstan
Elim Network is committed to counteracting these challenges. We want to support churches and pastors in Kazakhstan by providing them with advice and financial assistance. Our aim is also to provide support in the area of church planting in order to promote the growth and strengthening of the Christian church in Kazakhstan.
Through joint efforts, we hope to make a positive contribution to strengthening the faith and supporting the Christian community in Kazakhstan.