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Uzbekistan: Authorities try to stop children attending meetings for worship

ICC Note:

“The authorities in Uzbekistan's city of Angren have warned local religious communities not to be involved in unspecified ‘proselytism’ and ‘missionary activity’, as well as not to allow children to take part in meetings for worship, Forum 18 News Service has learned,” Forum 18 News Service reports.

By Mushfig Bayram

12/8/2011 Uzbekistan (Forum 18 News Service) – The authorities in Uzbekistan's city of Angren have warned local religious communities not to be involved in unspecified "proselytism" and "missionary activity", as well as not to allow children to take part in meetings for worship, Forum 18 News Service has learned. Saidibrahim Saynazirov, Deputy Head of the Administration, made these demands at a meeting of representatives of a variety of religious communities. He also demanded that the communities provide him with lists of their members. Many at the meeting do not want to do this, as one put it to Forum 18, for fear of pressure by the authorities against individual members. When asked what legal basis he had for his demand for membership lists, Saynazirov told the meeting "it's not in the law but we recommend that you do it". He adamantly denied to Forum 18 that he had demanded that communities provide lists of their members. "I did not demand such lists," he insisted. But he admitted that he "only asked" for them. However, the city's Catholic community hope that they will at last be allowed to be legally registered.

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