Christians under fire in Uzbekistan
April 3, 2009
Six Christians were detained after police raided a home in the town of Kurgantepe, Andijan region, Uzbekistan, where believers had gathered to share a meal together. Three Christians were detained at the Kurgantepe Rehabilitation Centre for Homeless Persons for not having their identification documents with them. One was released on March 6 for health reasons while the other two were released on March 13.
Three other believers were sentenced to 15-day jail terms for allegedly violating procedures for teaching religious doctrines. At last report, they were being held at the Temporary Detention Centre of Kurgantepe Police Department.
On March 11, Roman Tsoi, a member of the Korean Baptist Church, was handed a 10-day jail term for "violating the procedure for arranging and holding gatherings, meetings, street marches and demonstrations" in the country's capital, Tashkent.
The charge comes after approximately 20 officials barged into the church on March 6 during a prayer meeting, reportedly searching for foreign missionaries. The believers were told that they needed to obtain special permission to gather together on days other than Sunday and could not meet later than 10:00 p.m. At last report, Tsoi was being held at the Tashkent City Police Department's Detention Centre.
According to Russian Ministries, the persecution of Christians is increasing throughout Uzbekistan. Officials often charge believers with fabricated violations of the country's religion law or accuse Christians of attempting to start an uprising.
Pray that the imprisoned believers will be released. Ask God to give Uzbek Christians the endurance to stand firm despite the opposition.
To find out more about the persecution of Christians in Uzbekistan, go to www.persecution.net/uzbekistan.htm.