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It can be costly to own religious literature in Uzbekistan.
Photo: Barnabas Fund

In Uzbekistan, where Islam is by far the predominant religion, religious gatherings without state permission are forbidden. On trumped-up charges, such as planted "evidence," Uzbek authorities continue to raid meetings, and even casual gatherings, particularly those of Full Gospel Church members.

On September 5th, police raided a private home in Syrdarya belonging to a Full Gospel Church member who was meeting for tea with friends. Anti-terrorism police claimed they were holding a religious meeting without state permission. In court, the homeowner testified that the Bible, personal diary and VCR "found" in his house did not belong to his group and he didn't know how they got there. After a false witness testified against him -- the same false witness who testified against nine Baptists in a previous trial -- he was charged 55 times the minimum monthly salary (about $2,450 US), while three others were fined ten times the monthly salary. A selection of the group's literature, including two Bibles, was also destroyed.

A rash of raids has erupted since this past summer. Among those known, on September 5th, Tashkent's Yangiyul District Court fined a Full Gospel Church and four of its members two to three times the minimum monthly salary and also destroyed their Christian literature. On October 22nd, Tashkent police raided the apartment of a Protestant group. Nine members and the apartment owner were fined from 20 to 25 times the minimum monthly salary. They were ordered to hand over their Bibles to the Russian Orthodox Church, but teaching materials and a computer were destroyed. Two days later, a private home of two Full Gospel Church members in Tashkent was raided. Each was fined 30 times the minimum monthly salary and 30 Christian books were destroyed. Also, on October 27th, the Tashkent Regional Criminal Court fined 18 church members from five, up to 80, times the minimum monthly salary.

Most ironic, the Samarkand City Criminal Court fined a Seventh-day Adventist 20 times the minimum monthly salary back on September 12th, also confiscating Christian materials, a laptop computer and a tablet device. Why? Reportedly, as a reprisal for the Adventist's application requesting state registration. For other stories of persecution in this country, review VOMC's country report.

As we intercede on behalf of our fellow Christians in Uzbekistan, mindful of the privileges we have in North America to own Bibles and Christian literature without worry of confiscation or house raid, let us raise our voices up in prayer for God's intervention in each of their cases and for His provision to be made available to cover the cost of these fines and replace the items taken from them. Pray that the leaders of this country will realize the importance of the Christian faith for the betterment of the people, and for society as a whole. In fact, may these leaders discover for themselves the joy that comes from accepting Jesus as Saviour and making Him the Lord of their lives!

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

  • Christian Fined for Distributing Magazines
    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

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  • 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

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

    A Christian mother in Uzbekistan was killed by her husband on February 9th because she had recently accepted Christ. The attack happened at the Tashkent airport as she was attempting to flee the country.

    Problems for "Umida" (not her real name) beg

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