Persecution Update, February 2015: Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country that was part of the former Soviet Union, still maintains a Soviet-style dictatorship. The combination of a heavily Islamic environment with an oppressive government has produced a country that ranks #15 among the top persecutors of Christians. The vast majority of the population adheres to Islam, and it is against the law for the minority Christians to proselytize Muslims. Yet, God has graciously continued to draw Uzbek Muslims to saving faith. There are now approximately 10,000 Uzbek believers who have been converted out of Islam, when a generation ago there were none. Even though Christians comprise less than 1% of the population, the government has increased its persecution of them. Last October, Artur Alpayev’s home was raided by police, and he was fined 50 times the national minimum monthly wage because religious literature had been found in his home. Another Christian couple’s home was raided, and they were assessed an exorbitant fine because they possessed some children’s Bibles. Please pray for these Uzbek believers who desire to be faithful to Christ under a government that hates the Cross.