During a recent Open Doors Facebook Live event, we discussed the passing of Uzbekistan’s president, Islam Karimov. After his passing in early September, he was buried in the historic cemetery, Shahi Zinda, located in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He held the presidency for 25 years. As a result, his death left the country wondering who and what was next in leadership.
Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was rumored to be the late president’s successor, and on September 8, he stepped into the role of President Interim. The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan has reported that Mirziyoyev was nominated as a candidate for the presidency on Friday, September 16, 2016.
According to a report with Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Uzbekistan, “Early presidential elections in Uzbekistan will be held on December 4.”
Christians in Uzbekistan face a great deal of persecution. It holds the #15 spot on our World Watch List. Christians face raids, fines, arrests and threats every day. Some Muslim families go as far as placing Christian family members under house arrest, until they renounce Christ. Local believers in Uzbekistan say that the President Interim is a supporter of Christian persecution.
Please keep Uzbekistan in your prayers. Pray that whoever takes the presidential role will consider the persecution of Christians a pressing issue. Pray they will make strides to end persecution. Lastly, pray for the persecuted. Pray God grants them safety and wellness.