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Central Asia: Evangelical Children Face Discrimination; Church Leader Arrested for Reading Bible

April 7, 2015 by Janelle P in General

In one of the middle schools in a village in Turkmenistan, photos of children of believers, members of the local evangelical church, were hung on the school’s bulletin board.

It was written that these children are the “children of parent sectarians, so be aware and vigilant!” All of the records of these children are placed in the school director’s office as if these children are especially dangerous due to their parents’ religious beliefs.

There is often a false stereotype in Central Asian countries that all Christians, except for Orthodox and Catholics, are followers of Western sects. Pray for God to change this misconception among people and also pray for the safety of children and their parents.

Also, in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, Abdurahim (name changed for security reasons), a church leader, is undergoing persecution. A week ago, Abdurahim was jailed for a 10-day period. He was accused of illegal religious activity. After a very “fast” court case, Abdurahim was sentenced to pay a fine of approximately $100 and spend 10 days in prison.

The reason he was arrested and convicted is because he was reading the Bible to patients in a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and drug addicts.

Turkmenistan is ranked No. 20 and Uzbekistan ranked No. 15 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.

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