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UZBEKISTAN: Meeting Raided, Believers Threatened

UZBEKISTAN: Meeting Raided, Believers Threatened

Police in Pap in Uzbekistan’s eastern Namangan Region on 19 November raided a group of Protestants meeting in a home for a meal and to read the Bible.

Police searched the flat illegally without a search warrant and confiscated legally-bought literature including Bibles.

Officers arrested all eight Protestants and took them to Pap Police Station, where they were questioned until 3am the next morning. Police forced most of the Protestants to sign illegally written statements and said that they might be prosecuted for possession of the religious literature they legally bought.

Christians in Uzbekistan are thought of as extremists. They face massive fines and detention for “illegal religious gatherings”. Orthodox churches meet openly and legally but most evangelical Christians meet in unregistered groups. Uzbekistan once routinely imprisoned Christians, but the government now favours short detentions and substantial fines for economic reasons.

Source: Forum 18 News Service, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Commit these believers to God and pray the threats of prosecution may come to nothing.
  • Pray these believers will not be fearful and will continue to encourage one another in the faith and worship the Lord together.
  • Pray this incident may be used by the Lord to embolden the church and add to its number.

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UZBEKISTAN: Prisoner Alert Prisoner Set Free

UZBEKISTAN: Prisoner Alert Prisoner Set Free

Tohar Haydarov was quietly released from prison in Uzbekistan on 8 November. He had served nearly seven years of his 10-year prison sentence and was released for good behaviour. He may face parole conditions, and authorities told him not to get in trouble or he would return to prison. Authorities had told him earlier this year that a parole in his case “would not happen.”

Tohar was imprisoned in 2010 for allegedly selling large qualities of drugs, although fellow church members say the charges were falsified, and he was accused only because of his Christian faith.

Fellow Christians told Forum 18 News, “We are thankful to everybody who prayed for him and sent letters to him while in prison.” They ask for continued prayer for him.

Tohar was one of the prisoners featured on VOM’s web site for Christian prisoners, www.PrisonerAlert.com. Christians from all over the world wrote letters to him at the prison where he was held, and also wrote to Uzbek government leaders on his behalf.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

 Prayer Points

  • Give thanks to the Lord for this wonderful news for Tohar and his loved ones.
  • Pray the Lord will guide and strengthen Tohar as he adjusts to life outside of prison.
  • Pray the Holy Spirit will be at work in the hearts and mind of Tohar’s former prisoners and guards. Ask the Lord to give opportunities for Tohar to speak His testimony and use His witness for the Gospel.
UZBEKISTAN: Pray for Tohar Haydarov

UZBEKISTAN: Pray for Tohar Haydarov

Uzbek Christian Tohar Haydarov learned recently that he will be required to serve all 10 years of his sentence without the possibility of parole.

Tohar has been in prison since March 2010, when he was arrested on drug charges. His church members say the charges were fabricated and he was really imprisoned because of his religious activity.

Tohar’s Bible was taken away last year, but he said that he still “feels like God is next to him.”

Tohar, who is featured on VOM’s PrisonerAlert.com website, receives many letters at the prison, but officials deliver only a handful because there are “too many citations from the Bible” in them. Even so, knowing the letters are coming is an encouragement to him, and he “thanks all those praying for him and thinking about him.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

Prayer Points

• Thank the Lord for Tohar’s faithfulness. Ask the Lord to surround Tohar with His perfect peace.
• Pray the Lord will use the many letters sent to Tohar to be a continued encouragement to him and to act as a Christian witness to those in authority.
• Pray the church in Uzbekistan will continue to grow, remain faithful, will be granted wisdom and favour by the Lord.

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UZBEKISTAN: Persevering Despite Jail Conditions

UZBEKISTAN: Persevering Despite Jail Conditions

Latipzhon Mamazhanov, a Christian believer who had been arrested and jailed for 16 days in Fergana, eastern Uzbekistan, was released on 28 March.

Police illegally raided Latipzhon’s home, and those of other Christians in Fergana, on 12 March while in search of religious literature.

Latipzhon was imprisoned in the region’s Kuva District Police Detention Centre, where up to seven inmates were put in a cell designed for two people. No sanitary and hygiene rules were followed, and food was only provided once a day. Latipzhon, along with other prisoners who insisted they were innocent of crime, were also tortured several times during their incarceration.

“They can keep one Bible in their homes,” states Rustam Yegamberdiyev, head of Fergana City Criminal Police. “But if they keep more than one, then this means they are intending to gather others in their homes for illegal prayers and meetings.”

Source: Forum18

Prayer Points

  • Pray Latipzhon will seek the Lord’s healing power and ministering presence to help him overcome this ordeal.
  • May Latipzhon find joy in knowing he has been counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
  • Ask the Lord to remind these persevering believers that, while they may be undergoing persecution from those opposing them, they are truly His beloved children.

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UZBEKISTAN: Mothers Prevented from Feeding Babies

UZBEKISTAN: Mothers Prevented from Feeding Babies

A group of Christians in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, were detained and tortured last month after police raided their worship meeting in a private home. Among those held for nine hours were several nursing mothers who were prevented from feeding their babies until they had signed statements against their host Sarvar Zhuliyev.

During their detention, three of the Christians were slapped; another was hit and kicked in the head and abdomen. All were denied access to water or a toilet.

The 12 adult detainees, and some of the older children held with them, were forced to sign statements against Sarvar, declaring that he had “taught them the faith of Jesus Christ.” Police also confiscated Christian literature, money and personal items. The church members were later convicted and fined for “administrative offences” relating to religious materials and teaching.

The raid was apparently prompted by reports from a head school teacher who noticed two of his pupils sharing their Christian faith with other children. Police then questioned the two students about their church connections.

Sources: Forum 18, Release International

Prayer Points

  • Ask God to protect and strengthen the Christians who were recently arrested in Tashkent. May each of these believers, including the children involved in this raid, know God’s abiding presence and peace.
  • Pray the Uzbek authorities will take firm action to ensure the officers of the law will respect and uphold the religious rights of the country’s citizens.
  • Pray all charges against the Christian leader and church members will be dropped so their worship meetings can continue.