An Uzbek Christian man who is in prison for his faith has been given the disappointing news that a mid-sentence parole from prison “will not happen.”
Fellow Christians say that 33 year-old Tohar Haydarov, a convert from Islam to Christianity, has suffered a number of difficulties since his imprisonment in March 2010. Many believe that officials used false evidence to punish Tohar for his Christian faith.
Under Uzbekistan’s laws, parole is given to those who have completed more than half of their sentence. Officials did not elaborate on why Tohar will not be paroled, even after serving more than six years of his 10-year sentence. The Supreme Court has also rejected all appeals.
Tohar’s mother used to visit on a regular basis, but her death a few months ago has meant that he has far fewer visitors. Members of his church are permitted to visit for just a couple of hours every few months because they aren’t relatives.
Tohar’s Bible was taken away last year, but he says that he still “feels like God is next to him in prison,” and he continues to recite Bible verses that he has memorised.
Fellow Christians say “many people from around the world write him letters.” Although he only receives a handful of those letters, Tohar knows about them and “thanks all those praying for him and thinking about him.”
- Pray for Tohar as he faces another long four years in prison in Uzbekistan. Pray for courage, good health and for him to continue to be encouraged by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of fellow believers.
- Pray for other Christians in Uzbekistan in prison or oppressed because of their faith. Pray for protection over them and their families. Pray too that they will be faithful witnesses to their faith and the life that they have in Jesus.
- Pray for the Uzbek authorities to grant Tohar release on parole. Pray that they will soften their attitudes towards Christians and allow freedom of worship in this nation.
- Pray for many in Uzbekistan to encounter the living Christ Jesus and come to faith in Him.
Romans 15 vs 30: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”