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Uzbekistan restricts religious literature

ICC NOTE: this is just another way for the government to have a strong hand in the religious affairs of the country. Authorities wish to quell the hatred between opposing religious groups. This particular measure, however, has not been hurtful to the operations of such organizations as the Slavic Gospel Association. It mostly applies to illegal “behind the scenes” production of religious materials, which many organizations do openly and legally. Nevertheless, we must continue to pray that authorities allow Christians legal methods of publication, distribution, importation, etc. It is crucial to spreading the Gospel, a freedom that clearly the Christian community values and should never take for granted.

Missions News Network

July 5th: 2006
Uzbekistan (MNN) — Uzbekistan has introduced new penalties for the “illegal” production, storage, import and distribution of all forms of religious literature. According to Forum 18 News Service, all religious communities already need permission from the government’s Religious Affairs Committee to publish or import material.
Slavic Gospel Association works in Uzbekistan . SGA’s Joel Griffith says, “This is the first we’ve heard of these new restrictions that have come to play, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Some of this may be in response to Islamic extremism. President Karimov basically feels like he has to keep his thumb on everything just so things don’t get out of hand with Islamic extremism.”
SGA’s work hasn’t been affected. Currently they assist the local church in Uzbekistan and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States with summer camps, a homeless youth home and many other activities. Funding is needed for these activities. “We need the resources to be able to help the camps with literature. They will have of course Bible distribution for children, sometimes food items and various supplies.”

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