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Uzbekistan Facts

Score: 73 / 100
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Type: Dictatorial Paranoia
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 30,691,000
Christians: 350,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Presidential Republic; Highly Authoritarian
Leader: President Shavkat Mirziyoyev

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 21%
Church Life 96%
National Life 78%
Community Life 78%
Family Life 72%
Private Life 93%

Where Persecution Comes From

In Uzbekistan, both the Uzbek government and Islamic culture are engage in Christian persecution. When former president Islam Karimov died in September 2016, he was succeeded by Shavkat Mirziyaev, leading many to hope that the situation in country would improve for Christians. Sadly, this has not been the case, and the government continues to persecute Christians and other religious minorities through local authorities, secret service agents and police. Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds bear a great deal of persecution from family, friends and community members who are intent on convincing them to return to their former faith.

How Christians are Suffering

All Christian communities in Uzbekistan experience one form of persecution or another, to varying degrees. The Russian Orthodox Church experiences the least persecution from the government, as it generally does not engage in outreach. Converts from Islam and other Christian communities face raids, threats, arrests, interrogation and fines, as well as the confiscation of religious materials. Homes are bugged, phones are tapped, and groups are infiltrated. Converts are also sometimes violently persecuted by their families, friends and communities for refusing to recant their faith.

Examples

In March 2017, state officials raided a flat in Tashkent in Uzbekistan where five Protestant women were meeting together. Authorities confiscated books, a computer and a camera. A month later, a district criminal court fined the group’s leader five times the minimum monthly wage for “carrying out an unauthorized religious activity.”

Pray for Uzbekistan

  • Pray for change in the hearts of Uzbekistan’s leadership and for acceptance of Christianity in the country.
  • Pray for Baptists, Evangelicals and Pentecostals who are threatened, raided, fined and arrested.
  • Pray for new believers who are placed under house arrest by their Muslim families to make them recant. Pray that Christian women forced to marry against their will would trust in God’s provision for their lives and faith.

Stories from Uzbekistan

January 10, 2018

The 4 Major Trends Influencing Global Christian Persecution

World Watch List research indicates these growing movements are the life-altering forces influencing the persecution of Christians around the world.

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July 19, 2017

Uzbek Beaten for Leading Secret Church: “Longest Seven Minutes of My Life”

In Uzbekistan, police and security officials raid a growing church.

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May 5, 2017

Uncertain Future For Uzbekistan

Open Doors recently asked a few believers from Uzbekistan how they see things playing out in their country now that…

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