Uzbekistan has been under the grip of darkness for centuries. Folk Islam, drug use, alcoholism and a growing problem with HIV/Aids pervade society. The economy is struggling, with a very high rate of unemployment. The majority of the rural population is under tremendous economic pressures. Countless men have been forced to seek work in other countries, particularly Russia, which has sometimes led to the break up of families. Some women in cities have turned to prostitution to make ends meet. There are many horrible human rights abuses and violations. People are hungry and desperate for relief and answers. Almost everyone turns to folk Islam for help, not realizing the depths of its deceptive and dangerous practices.
* Pray for the Uzbek believers that they would develop culturally appropriate worship, teaching, and fellowship, which pleases the Lord and meets deep and pressing needs.
* May God give strength and courage to Uzbek believers who are being persecuted by the government, family members, and religious leaders.
* Pray for the authorities under President Karimov’s administration. May God bring hope and change. True servant leadership is needed – not oppressive abuse of power. May God raise up Josephs and Daniels at all local and national levels!
* President Karimov’s second and last term ends in 2007 and no clear peaceful transition of power is in sight. Pray for God’s protection during this season and his provision of wise, godly leadership, which will foster the growth of his kingdom.