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A group of Christians
were detained after police
raided their house meeting.
Photo: Flickr / David Holt (cc)

A group of Christians in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, were detained and tortured last month after police raided their worship meeting in a private home. Among those held for nine hours were several nursing mothers who were prevented from feeding their babies until they had signed statements against their host Sarvar Zhuliyev.

During their detention, three of the Christians were slapped; another was hit and kicked in the head and abdomen. All were denied access to water or a toilet. The 12 adult detainees, and some of the older children held with them, were forced to sign statements against Sarvar, declaring that he had "taught them the faith of Jesus Christ." Police also confiscated Christian literature, money and personal items. The church members were later convicted and fined for "administrative offences" relating to religious materials and teaching.

The raid was apparently prompted by reports from a head school teacher who noticed two of his pupils sharing their Christian faith with other children. Police then questioned the two students about their church connections. However, local Christians state that the students were merely acting on their own initiative. More information on persecution in Uzbekistan can be reviewed at the Uzbekistan Country Report.

Ask God to protect and strengthen the Christians who were recently arrested in Tashkent. May each of these believers -- including the children involved in this raid -- know God's abiding presence and peace. Pray that the Uzbek authorities will take firm action to ensure the officers of the law will respect and uphold the religious rights of the country's citizens. Additionally, may all charges against the Christian leader and participating church members be dropped so their worship meetings can continue ministering to the spiritual needs of those within the community.

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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