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Members of the Council of Churches Baptists in Uzbekistan have faced prison sentences and fines in recent weeks for refusing state registration, citing fears that it could lead to interference from the state. Unregistered religious activity in the country is banned, as is evangelizing, publishing unapproved religious literature, and attending religious meetings in private homes.

Tohar Haydarov (27), who was arrested on charges of producing or storing drugs (click here for more information), has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Local Christians insist the case was fabricated to punish him for his religious affiliation. Tohar was found guilty on March 9 of the "preparation of a crime or attempted crime" and of the "illegal sale of narcotic or psychotropic substances in large quantities." Other Baptists were not permitted to testify on Tohar's behalf and the lawyer they hired for him was not allowed into the courtroom. Tohar has appealed the ruling and the case has been referred to the Regional Court. At last report, a date had not yet been set for his appeal.

Thirteen Christians in Almalyk have been fined 100 times the minimum monthly salary for conducting "illegal teaching of religious doctrines without a special authorisation from a central religious organisation" (click here for more information). The Christians were each fined 3,768,000 soms (approximately $2,500 CAD) on February 23. The believers have issued a protest letter to the judge and the prosecutor's office, claiming that police committed over 60 violations of Uzbek law, including using excessive force, falsifying case files, denying them a lawyer and refusing to inform their relatives about their detention. (Source: Forum18)

Pray that Tohar will find his strength and comfort in Christ while in detention. Pray that the ruling against him will be overturned and he will be released. Pray that the fines against the 13 Christians will be dropped. Pray that Uzbekistan's authorities will recognize religious freedom.

For more information about the plight of Uzbek Christians, go to 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