Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Friday, March 21st, 2014
Despite the brief introduction of religious freedom to the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Christians in Uzbekistan have seen their rights to freely practice their faith rapidly and steadily decline.
Friday, March 21st, 2014
Though Uzbekistan briefly opened its doors to religious freedom after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, the persecution of Christians and restriction of religious freedom is again on the rise.
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
"Books and other materials encouraging individuals to change their beliefs or which, in the state's opinion, "distort" beliefs are now specifically banned under a sweeping new censorship Decree, Forum 18 News Service notes. The Decree, which came into force on 27 January, gives a "legal" basis for the severe state restrictions on production, sale, distribution and import of religious materials. The Decree contains numerous violations of the conventions the country has under international human rights law promised to implement."
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
"SS secret police with the police Anti-Terrorism Department raided a private home in Tashkent. As well as hundreds of Christian books and other materials being confiscated from Natalya Gaiyer and ordered destroyed, she was fined three times the minimum monthly salary. The officer who led the raid told Forum 18 that the raid and confiscations 'were ordered by Tashkent police Anti-Terrorism Department.'"
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Three women in Uzbekistan were discussing their faith when they were charged with the illegal activity of "teaching their faith" to one another. They are planning to challenge the steep fines they received.
Monday, February 3rd, 2014
When the Christian mother of a disabled child in Uzbekistan allowed her son to take art lessons from two Christian women, she did not think she was doing anything illegal. However, the government saw differently and fined both her, other parents and the women teaching the lessons. She says her "son was only taking art lessons with local women who happen to be members of a Protestant congregation."
Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
In September and October, at least 10 people around Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent were given heavy fines for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief. Eight people were fined after a police raid on a private home where two Presbyterian women, Rovza and Marina Sultanova, were teaching children. The two women were each fined 90 times the minimum monthly wage, with the other six given lower fines.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
A Christian in Uzbekistan has been arrested and beaten for possessing a thumbdrive with Christian e-books and other materials.
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
The Uzbek government has ordered a summer camp owned by the Uzbekistan Baptist Union seized and turned over to government ownership. Religious minorities in Uzbekistan have little security when it comes to their personal property. "Officials regularly seize religious literature, computers, musical instruments and other items. In July, court bailiffs seized the piano, pulpit, carpet, refrigerator and benches from a Baptist congregation in Karshi [Qarshi] in Uzbekistan's southern Kashkadarya Region." In addition, Uzbek authorities are pressuring one Protestant to begin "informing" on his community after accusing him of being involved in illegal missionary activities.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
As religious persecution continues to rise in Central Asia, unchecked by five nations in the region, it remains one of the most restrictive places in the world to be a Christian.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Officials in Uzbekistan confiscated both personal and church-owned property in response to unpaid fines. Svetlana Andreychenko, hosted an unregistered house church in her home and was therefore fined. She refused to pay them because, " she does not think she is guilty of a violation." When asked why church belongings, including a carpet, refrigerator and pulpit, were confiscated for a personal fine, the police remained silent.
Monday, September 16th, 2013
Twenty religious believers, eleven of which were Protestant Christians, were charged a fine “the equivalent of nearly 68 years’ official minimum wage.” What was their crime? Owning, keeping and reading religious literature (Bibles) outside of their church buildings.
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Authorities in Uzbekistan are attempting to “deprive” Christians of a plot of land they use to run summer camps for children and their families. The state claims that the land was bought illegally in 2000, however the Christians believe this is just a ploy to end their lawful use of the land for religious purposes.
Friday, August 9th, 2013
Four buses, full of 80 officials and police stormed into a Christian summer camp “brandishing batons” and took the nine adults and 22 children into custody. They separated the children from their parents and questioned them for six hours. After confiscating their belongings and releasing them, police raided the private homes of the Christian camp organizers. The Christians are awaiting their punishment for practicing their right to religious freedom.
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Uzbekistan is notorious for restricting the religious freedom of its citizens. Censorship of religious material, unfair trials, raiding with impunity, violating the right to the freedom of thought and government control of religious organizations is just a small portion of what goes on in this country. Read on to find out more.
Sunday, August 4th, 2013
In June, police in Uzbekistan arrested a pastor under the guise of border patrol, confiscated a memory stick with Christian content and proceeded to beat him until he “felt like vomiting.” The police Captain refused the pastors request to call for an ambulance, and kept him locked up for over seven hours without water or permission to use the restroom. Local Protestants say this treatment constitutes brutal torture and was a violation of the pastor’s rights. Upon release, the pastor went to the hospital, but when the police found out that he wanted to make a formal complaint, they arrested him again. The hospital refused all future care for the pastor as they were afraid of police reprisals. Upon the pastor’s official complaint on the police Captain for the abuse suffered, the pastor was put under investigation with a case opened against him, and the Captain received no punishment or investigation.
Sunday, July 21st, 2013
Uzbekistan is once again persecuting Baptists and owners of religious literature. Baptists continue to be oppressed due to their conscientious objection to register with the state. Meanwhile, owners of any religious literature are at the mercy of government officials. Literature is confiscated at any time, often illegally and in conflict with Uzbekistan’s laws of investigative procedure. The situation has gotten so bad that “individuals have reluctantly destroyed their own Christian books, including Bibles.”
Saturday, July 20th, 2013
A Christian man in Uzbekistan was a victim of police brutality and false accusations. Sardor Normatov, was detained for not having identification after looking “suspicious.” The police then beat him and went to his home to confiscate religious literature. His torturer told him, "all the sect people will be put behind bars." This is one of many recent examples of police in Uzbekistan ignoring the law and demonstrating abusive behavior toward Christians.
Saturday, July 13th, 2013
On June 23, police stormed a Baptist Church service in Uzbekistan. They immediately began filming the room and forced church members to be photographed one-by-one as police ransacked the building and confiscated religious material. When asked why the police were also taking the AC units out of the window, they replied, "that they must fight against the believers and do everything they could to prevent them from gathering.” Temperatures reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
Friday, July 12th, 2013
Freedom House, a human rights organization, has listed Uzbekistan in the top 17 “least free places in the world.” This designation was given based on records of human rights violations including restricting freedom of the press, government corruption and severe restriction of religious freedom—of which there is virtually none for minorities.
Friday, July 12th, 2013
In April, Secret Police in Uzbekistan raided a home where Church members were meeting “Illegally” as they had not received state permission to gather for worship. The police rounded up all 78 women and children and bused them to the police station where they were questioned and threatened for three hours. “Officers swore at them and even threatened to shoot them.” In June, the Baptist homeowner, Svetlana Andreychenko, was fined 50 times the monthly salary as punishment for having a church meeting in her home.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
A Christian Uzbek refugee was arrested in Kazakhstan in 2012 on charges of “conducting extremist religious activities.” The man has just been extradited to Uzbekistan, in violation of orders from the United Nations (UN), a country that is known for torture and abuse of religious prisoners is routine. The family and friends believe that this man is innocent and maintain that he was unfairly tried on fabricated charges.
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
Uzbekistan’s authoritarian regime remains relentless in its mistreatment of Christians, with widespread abuses of religious freedom ranging from illegal raids to brutal torture.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Friday, June 14th, 2013
It has been discovered that the 76-year-old woman who was victim of a raid at the hands of authorities in Uzbekistan also suffers from Parkinson’s disease. She lives alone and has difficulty walking. When she didn’t answer the door when authorities arrived to raid her home, they broke in through her window. She has been charged with the illegal possession of religious material. Authorities claim this was an “anti-terror cleaning.”
Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Things have been steadily heating up in Central Asia. It seems that Islamic extremism is increasing and that religious minorities, including Christians, will be the ones to suffer. Recent cases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are focused on in this article.
Saturday, June 8th, 2013
New tidbits of information continue to leak out concerning the case of an Uzbek Christian who was convicted of illegally storing Christian literature in her home. Sharofat Allamova was sentenced to a year-in-a-half of corrective labor after a judge ignored as many as 62 breaches of the law made by authorities during investigations, and upheld the case against her.
Saturday, June 8th, 2013
The executive director of Uzbekistan’s Bible Society is denying claims that people in Uzbekistan are prohibited from having Bibles in their homes. This comes not long after a Christian in Uzbekistan had religious literature confiscated and criminal charges brought against her for the illegal production, storage, import and distribution of religious literature.
Friday, June 7th, 2013
The collapse of the Soviet Union caused a growth in Islam and Extremism in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Predictions are now being made that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will “have a destabilizing effect on the whole region.” The prediction is that Islamic extremism will increase in the next few years and that Central Asia will need to be closely monitored.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
The executive director of Uzbekistan’s Bible Society is denying claims that people in Uzbekistan are prohibited from having Bibles in their homes. This comes not long after a Christian in Uzbekistan had her Bible and other religious literature confiscated and criminal charges brought against her for the “Illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature.” Individuals in Uzbekistan may only own government approved religious material in approved amounts. While Bibles are allowed in the country, the restrictions placed on the type and number one can own continues to be an infringement on their citizen’s rights to religious freedom.