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. She was told that the publications had been imported illegally, since they had not been evaluated by the "Struggle with Extremism and Terrorism Department." As a result, the officials confiscated the magazines, which they claimed were unlawfully distributed, and fined Tatyana the equivalent of two weeks' average wages.
Tatyana's January 18th trial lasted only 15 minutes and resulted in her conviction. On February 12th, the fine was upheld and the magazines were ordered to be destroyed. Tatyana intends to appeal the decision of the court. For more on the difficulties experienced by Christians in Uzbekistan, go to our country report.
Prayerfully uphold believers who, like Tatyana, are facing legal pressures or other forms of persecution in Uzbekistan, as they seek ways to share the Good News of the Gospel with their friends and neighbours. Specifically pray that a favourable decision will be made by court officials regarding Tatyana's appeal. Also intercede for the members of the Uzbek government, asking the Lord to speak to their hearts about the importance of allowing citizens to freely share their Christian faith without any interference or repercussion.