Uzbekistan maintains control over religion with new law

By September 7, 2020

Uzbekistan (MNN) — Uzbekistan is drafting a new religious law to bring all religious expression under strict governmental oversight. Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says, “It is not actually that much different from the existing law. You will see there are variations in minor aspects of the law, but it remains very difficult for the churches there to register a church, to hold worship services, and impossible to share your faith.”

This law doesn’t just affect Christians. Mock says, “Part of what they’re concerned about is also radical Islam. If they continue to suppress radical or more conservative aspects of Islam, they would be seen as creating a new problem if they weren’t equally as restrictive of Christians. So, there’s an overall push by a secular government to suppress religious expression or religious expressions of faith in any form.”

Uzbekistan highlighted. (Nikki070 / CC BY-SA https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Christians in Uzbekistan

Unfortunately for Christians, they also often face persecution from their Muslim neighbors. Islam is the majority religion in Uzbekistan, though Mock says many wear Islam as more of a cultural identity than a religious practice. The government would like to keep it that way, fearing radical forms of religion that might incite violence.

Pray the Church in Uzbekistan would bring the hope of Jesus Christ into their community. Mock says, “During this Christ Over COVID effort, where we’re serving churches and they are bringing both groceries and the Gospel, we are seeing a great witness before secular leaders who are responding with thanksgiving over the church reaching the needs of the people.”

Pray that many in Uzbekistan would see the Church caring for their neighbors and be drawn to the risen Christ. To help with SGA’s Christ over COVID campaign, click here.

 

 

The header image shows a mosque in Uzbekistan. (Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay)