WORLD WATCH LIST

Uzbekistan

#21

It’s illegal to attend some churches and download Christian songs.

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“After my conversion to Christianity, my brother wanted nothing to do with me.”

– Aziz*, a believer from Uzbekistan

Country
Profile

Region
Central Asia
Sources of persecution
Dictatorial Paranoia
Population
33,649,000
Christian population
347,000
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Score
71
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

Authorities view Christians who are a part of non-registered churches as extremists and a threat. Police monitor churches, and raid, arrest, and fine churchgoers. The law forbids the distribution of religious literature, worshipping without government permission, and evangelising.

Many Christians with Muslim backgrounds face additional pressure from their family and community. They can be locked up, beaten, or, expelled from their homes, forcing many to hide their faith.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christians all over Uzbekistan face persecution, especially those who don’t belong to a registered church and those who openly share the gospel.

Church leaders are especially vulnerable. They can be fined, detained, denied exit visas to leave the country, or put under house arrest. This can be for meeting illegally, owning religious literature, or even having Christian songs on their phones. Authorities target these church leaders to both silence their message and intimidate their congregations.

PRAY FOR UZBEKISTAN

– Pray for protection and peace over Christians rejected by their communities and loved ones.

– Pray that the government would receive God’s wisdom to lead the country with compassion.

– Pray that the Central Asian church would be strengthened with the support of local partners.

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