Pastor released from jail

By April 27, 2009

Uzbekistan
(SGA/MNN) — Pastor Pavel Nenno, a Slavic Gospel Association-sponsored church
planter who directs a shelter for homeless children in the town of Old Sergeli
in Uzbekistan, has been released from prison.

Pavel was
initially arrested on March 27 when police raided Pavel's center, where he had
been leading activities for about 50 to 60 homeless children each day. The
authorities confiscated Pavel's computer, audio tapes, a small pastor's library
and all of Pavel's work files.

When Pavel
later appeared in court, he was immediately arrested again and charged
officially with conducting illegal religious work with children. The court
handed down a 15-day jail sentence against Pavel, and informed him that his
property would not be returned.

He faces several charges,
including conducting illegal religious activities with children and using
Christian literature in educational activities with children.

Uzbek Christians have been fined,
beaten and imprisoned for their faith. According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, the distribution of religious
material is legal in Uzbekistan, but only material approved by the State
Committee for Religious Affairs. Bibles, Christian literature and films are
often confiscated by officials who claim that the material would be used to
convert Muslims.

SGA is
awaiting further details from Pavel and Uzbek Baptist leaders as to what is
expected next for Pavel and his family. This has been a very difficult ordeal for
all, as both Pavel and his wife, Oksana, struggle with high blood pressure.
Their two young daughters, 13-year-old Vika and 6-year-old Anna, were also very
frightened for their father's safety.

Please join
them in praise and thanksgiving for this wonderful news, and continue to pray
for Pavel and his family.

 

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