Persecution persists in Uzbekistan

By April 20, 2009

Uzbekistan (MNN) — Persecution seems to be heightened in Uzbekistan as several more Christians are imprisoned or fined for sharing their faith with children.

Baptist deacon Pavel Nenno in Uzbekistan was sentenced to 15 days in prison for feeding needy children. According to Forum 18, other believers say that he was simply "feeding neglected children from poor families." As a result, Nenno's home was raided by NSS secret police and he was jailed on March 27. He was quickly released but was later brought in for further questioning, resulting in his 15 day sentence.

In a similar case, 17 people from the Bukhara Full Baptist Church were each fined 100 times the minimum monthly salary of the country for attending a church member's birthday party.

The Uzbek government says it is in the children's best interest to be kept from church activities. Forum 18 noted that one Bukhara headteacher did not want children to attend church, proposing the apparent alternative, "I want our children to develop."

General Secretary of the Uzbek Baptist Union, Pavel Peichev, believes the government is attempting to wipe out the presence of any church unaffiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Pray that Nenno would be released from prison and for justice to prevail with all believers under attack. Pray that Uzbek Christians would remain strong and continue to share their faith.

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