Uzbek Christians Arrested and Harassed.
In early May, police in the Navoi Region of central Uzbekistan stopped four Christians, from various Churches, who were travelling together by car.
A fellow Christian from the capital, Tashkent, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of state reprisals, told Forum 18 News Service: “We understood that the police was informed of their arrival in town, and were waiting for them there.”
The men were interrogated at the district Police Station, where police tortured one man until he lost consciousness, and threatened to rape another.
The driver of the car is under constant, close police surveillance and his car has often been stopped. Like other individuals who are known to be involved in religious communities, his name is listed in the Preventative Register.
This Register, which was initiated in 2014, allows a wide range of state agencies to add to it the names and addresses of any individual deemed to be a threat. Those whose names are on the Register are then likely to be subject to a variety of police “preventative measures,” including being fired from their job.
The threats and use of physical violence and torture by the authorities is widespread in Uzbekistan, but most victims are, for very good reasons, unwilling to publicly discuss their experiences.
- Pray for Christians in Uzbekistan, where they risk their jobs, homes and even lives for their faith.
- Pray for the Uzbek Church to continue to grow, with roots that go deep and can withstand, and even flourish with the ongoing persecution.
- Pray for the Uzbek Government to ease restriction on freedom of belief and worship, and for Christians to be seen as a positive influence in their communities.
2 Timothy 1 vs 8: “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”