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Photo: Flickr / bloomsberries

On January 20th, Natalya Gaiyer had her home raided and several hundred Christian books confiscated by secret police working for the National Security Service (NSS) and Anti-Terrorism Department. Natalya, who lives in Tashkent and is a member of an officially registered Baptist church, was also ordered to pay a fine equal to about $130, at least three months' salary in Uzbekistan, for possessing the books.

Close surveillance of all religious communities by the NSS secret police is a standard part of the country's mechanism of repression. A week after the raid, on January 27th, a new censorship decree was established, stating that books and other materials encouraging individuals to change or "distort" their beliefs are now banned. As well, the decree imposes controls on the production, distribution and import of religious materials. With this new decree, authorities now have a "legal" basis for their strict restrictions.

Let us pray for this dear faithful Christian, asking God to provide for her material and spiritual needs at this time. May fellow believers from Natalya's church stand with her and bring much needed encouragement. Despite the increased restrictions, pray that the Christians of Uzbekistan will be resolute in their desire to share the "Good News" with their neighbours. Ask God to work in the lives of the country's authorities, so that they may respect religious freedom for all.

For more on the trials Christians face in Uzbekistan, go to 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.

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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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