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During the month of January, the home of a Christian woman in northwest Uzbekistan (Urgench) was raided on two separate occasions by police. As a result, Sharofat Allamova is now facing criminal prosecution for "illegally" storing religious literature. During the first raid, which took place on January 4th, officers confiscated a total of three Christian books, two DVDs (a Christian film and a sermon), and a video titled, "Life in the Church." The second raid took place just 12 days later, but no religious materials were found in the home at that time.

Due to previous convictions of a similar nature, Sharofat could face a fine of up to 200 times the minimum monthly wage or a prison term of up to three years. In 2007, she was given a six-month suspended jail term after Christian books and films were found in her bag while aboard a bus. In May of 2012, she was fined ten times the minimum monthly wage for possessing religious literature.

Christians in the Tashkent Region are also upset and outraged over an incident that took place on December 24th, 2012, as church members were beginning their Christmas celebrations. In this case, Judge Ikrom Obidov fined four local believers and ordered the destruction of Bibles. This judge has already punished many people locally for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief. In an appeal made against an earlier fine imposed by Obidov, an appeal judge ignored evidence that the original case against believer Vadim Shim had been fabricated. For more about the challenges faced by the followers of Jesus in Uzbekistan, review the Uzbekistan Country Report.

May the Lord Himself, who has promised to be a "Vindicator" of His people, personally take up the cause of these oppressed Christians in the nation of Uzbekistan, meting out justice on their behalf. Also pray that these believers will be further encouraged by His Word, mindful that the 'schemes of men' will never thwart His purposes (Job 42:2). Ask that His strength and wisdom be imparted to Sharofat throughout the legal process and that the outcome of her trial be favourable. May the reverential fear of God come upon Judge Ikrom Obidov and others in positions of judicial authority so that they will honour Him by raising up a standard of truth, righteousness and justice.