Uzbekistan: an opening of the door for ministry
Located north of Afghanistan and west of China, Uzbekistan neighbours Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. 88% of the Uzbekistanis are Muslim, while 9% identifies themselves with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The majority (74.3%) of the populace speaks Uzbek, 14.2% speak Russian and 4.4% speak Tajik.
Uzbekistan was conquered by Russia in the late 19th Century. In 1924, a socialist regime was put in power after resistance to the Soviet Union and the Red Army was suppressed. Uzbekistan has been independent since 1991.
The Uzbekistani Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion; however this is restricted. The state and church are also officially separate in Uzbekistan, though the government favours Islam. Religious extremism is not tolerated in Uzbekistan.
In order to operate legally, all religious groups must register and fulfill strict criteria. Each faith group has been denied registration based on technicalities at some point; yet, the rejection of applications is most often targeted towards non-Muslim groups. Deregistration is also prevalent in Uzbekistan.
The activities of Non-Governmental Organizations have been limited by the registration process. Any religious freedom or right that may conflict with national security, such as proselytizing, and religious education in public and private schools, is restricted.
Before religious literature can be distributed in Uzbekistan, licences must first be acquired.
Pray for open doors for the gospel in 2014 in Uzbekistan.