Uzbek Christians Jailed and Fined
Doniyor Akhmedov, a member of the Baptist Church in Uzbekistan, was one of three protestants known to have been imprisoned for between seven and 15 days in March and April. He was arrested after offering a religious leaflet to a passer-by on the street.
For the last part of his 15-day imprisonment, Akhmedov “was held in a small cell with more than 10 people, where they were squeezed in and there was barely space to sleep on the floor.” On his release, he was summoned to court and fined more than three years’ official minimum wage.
The two other Christians are known to have been jailed, receiving seven days imprisonment for “illegal” religious activity, and 10 days imprisonment for “teaching religion illegally.”
Between February and March, three courts across Uzbekistan punished nine people from three different families, all of whom are members of various Protestant Churches. They were all were fined for “illegally storing” Christian literature and materials, and the families’ homes were raided by police, who confiscated various Christian books, DVDs and CDs.
Uzbekistan imposes strict censorship on all religious publications and all aspects of their distribution, and fines for the “Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan” of religious material range from 20 to 100 times the minimum monthly wage for individuals.
- Pray for Christians in Uzbekistan as they face increasing opposition and oppression from the Uzbek government.
- Pray for accessibility to Christian literature, Bibles, and teaching materials for Uzbek Christians.
- Pray for the Uzbek Government to see Christianity as having a positive impact on its country, rather than seeking to ban it outright.
Hebrews 13 vs 3: “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.”