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The hands of persecution tighten in Uzbekistan

By June 25, 2010

Uzbekistan (MNN) — Mission Network News has discussed the possibility that Christian refugees fleeing to Uzbekistan from chaotic Kyrgyzstan may be running into disaster. This appears to be the case.

Although there have not been reports of refugees receiving increased persecution in Uzbekistan, if they plan to stay in the country, they should probably expect it. According to Slavic Gospel Association, the Uzbek government has cracked down on Christians again.

An Uzbek member of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB) was recently fined nearly $2,000 under charges of "teaching religious beliefs without specialized religious education and without permission from a central religious organization" and "teaching religious beliefs privately." The victim, Valery Konovalov, was not even given a chance to defend himself.

In the meantime, Uzbek state television has been broadcasting attacks on protestant believers, focusing especially on Pastor Pavel Peichev. Peichev, also a member of the UECB, was convicted along with two others last year for charges regarding the UECB's children's camp ministry.

Pray that despite increased accounts of persecution, Uzbek believers would not back down in spreading the Gospel. Pray, too, that God would specifically protect those who have fled to Uzbekistan to find solace from upturned Kyrgyzstan.

To find prayer updates for other places SGA works, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, click here.

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