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Though Uzbekistan has long been a highly restricted country, its government has made incremental reforms in religious freedom in recent years. Though restrictions on churches and Christian organizations have eased, evangelism and conversion are opposed, and it is still illegal to distribute evangelistic literature in public. This improvement, with unity among believers across several Christian denominations and a focus on training and equipping Christian leaders, is a positive development for the small number of Uzbek churches and Christians.
83 percent of Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims. 2 percent are Christians, including a small fraction of 1 percent who are evangelicals. Many are irreligious as a result of suffering under decades of atheistic Communist rule until the fall of the Soviet Union.
The government fines Christian converts from Islam, and families often reject family members who become Christians.
What It Means To Follow Christ In Uzbekistan:
Converts from Islam are persecuted by their families, communities and sometimes by the government. Evangelical Christians are considered religious extremists and have been fined and detained for worship, which the government sometimes considers to be illegal religious activity. Orthodox churches meet openly and legally, but most evangelical Christians meet in unregistered groups. Uzbekistan’s government once routinely imprisoned Christians, but fines and short detentions have since become more common.
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- Pray that pastors and leaders will lead by example.
- Pray that God will heal the sick and provide for their families.
- Pray for President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the government.
- Pray for revival in the country.
- Pray for the protection of Christian doctors and nurses.
- Pray that Christians will remain strong during difficult times.