Gafur*, a pastor from a Central Asian country, has been arrested for hosting an evangelistic event at his protestant church. (* Name has been changed)
During the month of August, Pastor Gafur teamed up with the state Bible society to create an outreach event for blind and visually-impaired people, during which the Bible society distributed special Bibles for the visually-impaired attendees.
The day after the event, Pastor Gafur received a phone call asking him to visit the office of national security to talk about the recent event.
After arriving, he was asked the following questions: Where was the event held? Who gave them permission to hold the event? Why didn’t church leadership contact the local authorities about this event?
Pastor Gafur replied, saying they received permission and had acquired all the required documents for the event. However, in reality, Pastor Gafur had not received any permission at all.
Now Pastor Gafur is being charged with violating Article 140 (holding unauthorized meeting, rallies and marches) of the Administrative Code of the Republic. He can be charged anywhere between 10 to 100 times the minimum wage salary ($27- $2700 US dollars).
Pastor Gafur is also receiving all the blame as the Bible society director is avoiding any responsibility for organising the event.
- Pray for Pastor Gafur and his family as they wait for his trial.
- Pray the upcoming trial, for a fair and just trial, and for charges to be dropped.
- Pray for believers in Central Asia who are coming under increasing pressure from governments as well as the Muslim majority communities. Pray for strength of faith, for unity amongst believers and wisdom as they seek to share the Gospel in their countries.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move over this region, for many to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 2 vs 7 – 8: “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones.“