There have been a few more articles and blogs recently criticizing Christian evangelicals in Central Asia. I always feel a bit torn when I read things like this because, while I think many of the concerns voiced in these types of articles are valid, I also happen to be a member of a church (Mormon/LDS) that actively proselytize in most of the world- basically, where it's legal. However, I am not in Kyrgyzstan for any kind of religious reason. The US government is paying for us to be here.
I would like to see my church recognized in Kyrgyzstan. I'd like to see missionaries from my church here. But I'd also like to see it legally and respectfully done. I've heard plenty of horror stories about insensitive and downright offensive missionaries. I cannot tell you how many missionaries have told me they are here (or wherever they are) illegally. I don't think that is the right way to go about proselytizing. Regulations are clearly needed in this matter because there are problems and people who go too far in what they try to do to get converts. There are some scary stories out there.
Christian converts from Muslim countries, even Central Asia, are usually in a very difficult position. Christian churches have responsibilities when they go into a new country. Converts must be supported- and I'm not talking about financial support. As these articles point out, it can be very difficult to be a Christian in Central Asia. I don't think it's appropriate for a group of independent missionaries to go into a country, convert a group of people, and then go somewhere else. A support system needs to be set up, established members need to be there, and good contact needs to be maintained with members in other countries. Many churches do a good job of this, but some don't. Supporting the members is a vital part of missionary work.
A major complaint about evangelicals is that they entice members with all sorts of financial assistance. This is a tricky one to deal with. While I don't necessarily feel a greater obligation to people of my own church, many Christians do, and I don't think that's unreasonable. I wish there were a greater sense that this issue needs to be handled carefully because so many people have this negative perception of Christian churches. But financial enticements should never be used to get converts. It's beyond me why any church would want to do this anyway.
There aren't any easy solutions. My church hasn't always done things perfectly. Missionaries aren't perfect. There are going to be people who do stupid things. I am sorry that happens. I wish it didn't. But because of this, I think some regulation is reasonable, but scare tactics aren't (on either side).
What I'd really like to see is more respect and understanding on both sides. Proselytizing should not be done illegally. It should unquestionably done respectfully when it's legal, and Christians have a lot of room for improvement in this area.
But I'd also like people to not assume that there is some ulterior motive in my desire (or most Christians' desire) to have Christianity in this or any country. There is no eternal scorecard in the heavens. I personally think the gospel should (it doesn't always, but it hopefully should) bring greater happiness to people of any country. It does not require losing one's culture or heritage. And I'd like to be able to legally and respectfully talk about my beliefs, and for a variety of reasons from scare tactics to illegalities, I'm not able to do that.