The strict monitoring of all Christian activities has intensified, even in the Orthodox Church. Outreach, training and youth activities are forbidden in unregistered churches – and in the last ten years only one new church was granted registration. Private Bible study meetings are always in danger of being closed down. Churches are raided and literature and other materials confiscated. Printing or importing Christian literature is prohibited. Christians are fined or given short-term prison sentences. When brought to court, fair treatment is not ensured.
“Two days ago the police raided our house,” Lazar said. “They took away all the Bibles and Christian books that we had in the house.” He is a Church leader in Uzbekistan, a country which does not often get mentioned in the news, but is known by Open Doors for the persecution of Christians. The roots of Communism have not seemed to wither yet. Uzbek Christians strive to live with faith in God’s promises, despite the fear of surveillance, intimidation and imprisonment.
- For pastors trying to lead their churches with limited resources
- For courage for Muslim-background believers who experience great pressure from family and society
- A 27-year-old convert from Islam is currently serving 10 years in prison on false charges. Pray for his release.