Persecution Update October 2012: Uzbekistan

On September 5th, Kazakhstan officials arrested 32-year-old Uzbek house church pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov, intending to send him back to his native country of Uzbekistan. Pastor Makset and his family fled to Kazakhstan in 2007 to escape persecution after facing six court trials in Uzbekistan for unlawful religious activity in that predominantly Muslim country. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has designated Pastor Makset as a religious refugee because of his Christian faith. However, the Kazakh government refuses to recognize that status, and Kazakh officials are now making plans to send him back to Uzbekistan, where he will face certain prosecution. The impending deportation has been very stressful on Pastor Makset, his wife and five children. He recently told a friend that he did not want to carry this cross. However, Pastor Makset says, “I pray that if this from you, Lord, I will accept whatever you say. Just help me carry it.” Please intercede for the Lord to protect and to strengthen Pastor Makset and his family.