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Christian Uzbeks flee from ethnic violence to religious persecution

By June 16, 2010

Uzbekistan (MNN) — After over 100,000 Uzbeks fled to
Uzbekistan, away from the ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan has closed
its borders to all but the injured, according to CNN.

Russian Ministries has affiliates in Ukraine, informing them
of the rapidly-deteriorating situation. Their sources said Christians are among
the refugees in the Uzbek refugee camps, and they are seeking to lend aid and comfort
to the survivors.

However, as they spread Christ's love, they do so in a
country rife with religious persecution. While Kyrgyzstan, with a rank of 49,
barely makes Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries, Uzbekistan is ranked
10th and labeled as a place where Christians experience intense persecution and
oppression.

Additionally, AsiaNews reported Christians and Muslims alike
are facing imprisonment and torture for false accusations. However, in
Tashkent–Uzbekistan's capital city, the Religious Affairs Committee threatened
to strip the registration and freedom to practice religious activities from
more churches if Christians continued to complain about mistreatment. Already, over
the past four years, authorities have taken away seven churches' registrations
for unfounded reasons, according to Forum 18.

As Uzbek Christians have angry Kyrgyz at their backs and religious
intolerant Uzbek authorities in front of them, they are trapped between a rock
and a hard place.

Pray for courage among these Christians. Pray that they will lean
on Christ for strength and find comfort in His Word.

Visit Russian Ministries' Web site for updates on the situation and to
support their ministry.

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