Uzbekistan: Raids and confiscations as state wants “religious organisations which will stay quiet”?
“Uzbekistan’s NSS secret police with other officials have carried out two raids on an officially registered Baptist church in the capital Tashkent,” Forum 18 News Service reports.
By Mushfig Bayram
4/19/2011 Uzbekistan (Forum 18 News Service) – Uzbekistan’s NSS secret police with other officials have carried out two raids on an officially registered Baptist church in the capital Tashkent, Forum 18 News Service has learned. Over 50,000 Christian books, a large quantity of printing and office equipment, and a sum of money personally belonging to one person were confiscated. In contrast to the confiscated literature and equipment, no official record was made of the confiscation of the money belonging to a church member was made. Later, three church leaders and the caretaker were given fines ranging between 50 and 100 times the minimum monthly salary. Officials have refused to give reasons for their actions, but there has recently been a harshening of official actions against the possession and supply of religious literature. One Tashkent Baptist, asked by Forum 18 what might be behind the raids and confiscations, commented: “The authorities are interested in having small pocket-size churches and religious organisations, which will stay quiet and not have much religious activity.”