Uzbekistan (MNN) — Christians in Uzbekistan continue to face persecution.
According to Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada, 28-year-old Tohar Haydarov was arrested last month on drug charges. But Musselman says there's no truth to the charges. "The drugs were planted on his person and also in his apartment, and now he's facing a sentence of 10 to 20 years. This intimidation is nothing new in Uzbekistan, and unfortunately, I don't think it's going to stop any time soon."
The arrest is just one example of the government abusing its authority to stop the spread of Christianity. Musselman says it actually started with church registration. "The churches go through the process of registering, only to be rejected. The Baptist Council of Churches have just given up on that, and they're meeting–and in some cases refusing to register because they realize it's just a game."
The government in that predominately-Muslim nation then takes action. "When they don't register, then the government can use that to shut them down or cause disruption of their services," says Musselman.
The persecution is having an effect on the church, Musselman says. "It's not stopping the spread of the Gospel. In fact, it is growing the Gospel."
Musselman asks for prayer that Christians will remain faithful. Also he'd like you to contact the Uzbekistan embassy and ask them to allow religious freedom. You can find them on the Web at: http://www.uzbekistan.org, or call (202) 887-5300.
You can also write:
Embassy of Uzbekistan
1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-1903