Uzbekistan has one of the harshest dictatorships in Central Asia. The regime will do everything possible to stay in power – all forms of opposition and deviations from the norm will be ruthlessly attacked. Christianity is regarded as an alien and destabilizing factor. On top of this, Christian converts from a Muslim background (Muslim Background Believers, MBBs) experience additional pressure from their social and cultural environment.
Open Doors recently asked a few believers from Uzbekistan how they see things playing out in their country now that long-term president Islam Karimov has passed.
As he placed the last book on the shelf, Ravshan began to panic. Were the books in the same order he had found them in? He frantically tried to calculate the odds that his family would find the Bible hidden at the back. "Being discovered isn't an option," he reminded himself...
In recent months, a number of Christians have faced harassment, criminal sentences, and fines for having Christian literature in their homes, increasing the challenge of spreading the gospel.
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.