The cost of owning a Bible

After simultaneous police raids on four homes in a village near
Uzbekistan’s capital, two pensioners and two other local Protestants had
religious literature including the Koran and Bibles confiscated, Forum 18
News Service has learnt. The four were also fined a combined total of 230
times Uzbekistan’s minimum monthly wage. Many followers of a variety of
beliefs are afraid to keep religious literature in their homes, a
cross-section of people have told Forum 18. Noting officials ignoring
published law in carrying out raids and other repression, a local
Protestant told Forum 18 that “You won’t find this in any law”. The state’s
pressure is so strong that some believers think they have no choice but to
destroy their own sacred texts. One Protestant – who asked not to be
identified for fear of state reprisals – cited with distress cases where
individuals have reluctantly destroyed their own Christian books, including
Bibles. “I personally know of three such cases”, they told Forum 18. “Many
other Christians said to me they can’t bring themselves to destroy their
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