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Pastor Shestakov
Photo from Forum 18

We received a report this week that Uzbek Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was released from prison last Friday. Praise God!

VOM sources report that Pastor Shestakov was released at 3 p.m. local time on January 21. No official church representatives went to meet him--only two courageous elders from the Andijan Church.

Shestakov is the pastor of the officially registered Full Gospel Church. He was taken into custody by secret service officials on January 21, 2007, and accused of "incitement of national, racial and religious enmity" under Article 156 of Uzbekistan's penal code. He had been serving a four-year, work camp sentence.

Praise the Lord for Pastor Shestakov's release! Pray he will be reunited with his family, friends and church members. Pray the Holy Spirit will use Shestakov's faithful witness to bring many of his neighbours, friends and even persecutors to Christ (Romans 12:14, 21).

Find out more about the persecution of Christians in Uzbekistan at the Uzbekistan Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC has been working with project partners over the past couple of years to affirm and equip Christian women for continued ministry and to encourage unity among them.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

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)

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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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    Tashkent, Uzbekistan - Photo: Wikipedia / Atilin
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    Photo: Wikipedia / Atilin (c)

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