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Authorities in Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic in Uzbekistan, have renewed a crackdown on Protestant activity in recent weeks. On July 8, two Christians were handed 10-day prison terms to punish them for their religious activities. One of the imprisoned believers, Lepes Omarov, has previously endured opposition. In 2003, he was dismissed from his job as a teacher after he rejected pressure from a local ideology official to renounce his beliefs. In 2006, a criminal case was launched against him for violating the law on religion, but the case never came to trial.

Only state-registered Muslim communities and one Russian Orthodox parish are allowed to operate in Karakalpakstan. All other religious activity in the area is illegal. Police raided many homes belonging to Protestants between May and early July, confiscating Christian books, DVDs and computers. One believer was summoned to the Prosecutor's Office in mid-June and pressured to sign a pledge to no longer keep Christian books in his home upon threat of criminal prosecution. The believer refused to the sign and was eventually allowed to go. (Source: Forum18)

Pray for boldness and enduring faith for Christians in Karakalpakstan. Pray that they will confidently entrust themselves to Christ so that they can preach the gospel without hesitation (2 Timothy 1:7-12). Pray that the charges against the two believers will be dropped. Pray that religious freedom will be respected in Uzbekistan.

Click here for more information about the persecuted Church in Uzbekistan.

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Country Information

Population
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)

Leader
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

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  • 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
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    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

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  • Obstacles to Registration
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    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

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

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