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Uzbek Christians from the Baptist Council of Churches -- a church that refuses to register with the state -- have faced arrests and physical abuse in recent weeks.

On January 18, Tohar Haydarov (28) was arrested in Syrdarya region on charges of producing or storing drugs -- charges local Christians insist are fabricated. At the police station, Tohar was reportedly pressured and threatened to renounce his faith. When he refused, police allegedly planted drugs on him. Officials later reported finding additional drugs at his apartment in a search that was not monitored by any witnesses until after a bag of narcotics was found. Forensic tests on the drugs found on Tohar and in his apartment were conducted the same evening, raising suspicion on how precise forensic results were available so quickly. At a court date three days after his arrest, Tohar told believers that police had beaten him and forced him to sign papers. His face was swollen and he could barely walk. At last report, police were attempting to have Tohar charged under a different article of the Criminal Code which calls for a 10-20 year prison sentence.

On January 24, a group of believers gathered for fellowship at Sergei Brislavski's home in Almalyk City were rounded up by officers and brought to the police station. Sergei's home was then searched and Bibles, songbooks and CDs were confiscated. Three of the 19 believers were roughly treated by officers. The next day, a doctor recorded in the forensic-medical examination certificates that they had bruises on their shoulders and around their necks. However, police deny assaulting the believers. Local Christians believe the police are preparing a criminal case against some of the members for repeated violations of the Religion Law. In April 2009, some of the same Christians, including Sergei's family, were fined 50 times the minimum monthly wage for "attracting believers of one confession to another" (click here for more information). (Source: Forum18)

Pray that the truth surrounding Tohar's case will be revealed. Pray that he will look to Christ during this time. Pray that the Christians in Almalyk will echo Peter's determination to obey God regardless of what man says (Acts 5:29). Pray that they will not face charges or fines. Pray that religious freedom will be respected in Uzbekistan.

You can find out more about the persecution believers face in Uzbekistan at the Uzbekistan Country Report.

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Country Information

30,842,796 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Uzbek (83.8), Tajik (4.8), Kazakh (2.5), Russian (2.3) Karakalpak (2.2), Tatar (1.5), other (4.4)

Religion (%)
Islam (88), Eastern Orthodox (9), other (3)

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev (2016)

Government type
Presidential republic; highly authoritarian

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Uzbekistan

Thank you for praying on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Uzbekistan who are undergoing severe mistreatment by those governing over them. Ask the Lord to remind these persevering believers that they are truly His beloved children. As their Heavenly Father, He is the One who governs their souls and eternal destiny. May they have a heightened awareness of His abiding presence, everlasting love, help in times of trouble – and whatever else they specifically need – as conveyed through the infallible promises of His powerful Word.


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Uzbekistan News

  • Christian Fined for Distributing Magazines

    This past Christmas, a neighbourhood celebration in Uzbekistan was hosted by Tatyana Akhmadiyeva, a member of a local Baptist church. At the event, she offered Christian magazines to 15 of her neighbours. Local authorities received a report about the distribution and summoned Tatyana for questioning

  • Registration Applications Denied
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tashkent - Photo: Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_in_Tashkent_15-12.JPG Bobyrr, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    A Lutheran church in
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Bobyrr (cc)

    Although religious communities in Uzbekistan would like to obtain official permission (to exist), as required by the state, all their applications have been blocked. Protestant churches, Shia Muslim communities, along with gr

  • Obstacles to Registration
    Prayer in the desert
    Join Uzbek believers in prayer as they seek the Lord for wisdom in these cases.

    A small number of religious communities in Uzbekistan received their registration in late 2019. However, many others are encountering major obstacles in their attempts to obtain registration, which would allow them to fun

  • Woman Killed for Her Faith
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan - Photo: Wikipedia / Atilin
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    Photo: Wikipedia / Atilin (c)

    A Christian mother in Uzbekistan was killed by her husband on February 9th because she had recently accepted Christ. The attack happened at the Tashkent airport as she was attempting to flee the country.

    Problems for "Umida" (not her real name) beg