Uzbekistan (MNN) — It appears Christians are facing more oppression in Uzbekistan and more uncertainty. Seven days after charismatic Christian Bobur Aslamov was detained during a raid on a religious meeting in Samarkand, his whereabouts remains unknown. Forum 18 News reports church members fear he could face criminal charges.
Police beat some church members during the raid. Police, secret police and Justice Department officials raided a Full Gospel congregation in Tashkent on 9 April, just before the Justice Department was due to rule on the congregation's long-stalled registration application. Five church members face administrative penalties.
Amid renewed media attacks on religious communities, Baptists objected to regional television coverage of a police raid in March. "This program aimed to stir up society against church members," they told Forum 18. "And all this is being done in defiance of the law."
Begzot Kadyrov of the government's Religious Affairs Committee refused to discuss this and other recent harassment of religious communities. "Don't disturb us with stupid questions about religious liberties."