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
- 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.