Uzbekistan (MNN) — Imagine a life where you are only allowed to have one Bible, and it may not even be written in your language. The people of Uzbekistan are facing that and so much more.
Christian Aid Mission has a vision to become more involved in the local people’s lives and to open a church in every small city and region.
Uzbekistan is continually placing restrictions on the civil rights of citizens. They no longer have control over freedom of religion, speech, and press.
The laws that are being enforced have placed a lot of regulations for Christians. If a person has more than one Bible in his household, he is considered a missionary and can face up to five years in jail.
Not only is there a law that only one Bible is allowed within a household, but also it must be written in Russian.
The problem with this is that only about 20% of Uzbekistan citizens have mastered the Russian language. The younger generation learns Uzbek, and is learning English as well. Russian is mostly mastered by the older generation.
Uzbekistan Christian Fellowship has about 500 churches that are very small, and the ministers are only allowed to preach in the church building. Even in churches, they are forbidden to teach in the Uzbek language.
The vision of UCF is to open a church in every small city and region for the local people.
Missionaries are also working with the Tajik people. Two women minister to the believers in this mountain region. The people do not want to risk losing what has brought them freedom and truth. In case someone takes away their Bible, they have made handwritten copies of the words they have grown to love.
The people in Uzbekistan are lost. Pray that the leaders will be able to find employment closer to the citizens of Uzbekistan.
Also, pray for a church building. To be considered an official church, they must have at least 200 people in the congregation, according to authorities. Continue to be in prayer for the men and women serving this country and getting the Gospel out to all who will listen.