Three years ago, Pastor Dmitry Shestakov and his family fled Uzbekistan after he had spent four years in a labour camp and subsequently received numerous death threats.
The family’s journey of freedom officially ended on 30 August as they arrived in the United States, where they were granted asylum. Mission Eurasia is assisting the family as they make this transition.
Nearly 10 years ago, authorities arrested the pastor after they raided Full Gospel Church in Andijan, Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan’s Religious Affairs Committee claimed Shestakov was not an authorised leader of any officially-recognised religious organisation. He was labelled an “imposter” and sent to a prison camp more than 640km from his home. The distance made a visit from his wife, Marina, and their three daughters, Maria, Alexandra and Vera, difficult.
After his release on 21 January 2011 – exactly four years since he had entered prison – the government still closely monitored and forced him to obtain written permission just to leave his house. Following two years of living under these restrictions and receiving death threats, Shestakov moved his family to Ukraine, where the United Nations Human Rights Council granted them refugee status.
Today, Dmitry, Marina and their youngest two daughters, Alexandra, 20, and Vera, 16, are starting a new life in the United States. Their eldest daughter, Maria, 22, remains in Ukraine with her husband.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Thank the Lord for providing safe passage to a new home for this family.
- Pray the Lord will lead them to find a new home church where they can continue to grow in faith and serve the Lord.
- Pray the testimony of the suffering experienced by Dmitry, his wife and children may be used by the Lord to encourage believers in the West to also live out their faith boldly.