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ICC NOTE: Central Asia has had its issues with radical Islam but despite the majority faith in the Central Asian countries (Islam), the governments have been very secular. Taking their direction from the old Soviet belief of religion being the Opiate of the masses, faith is highly regulated and only allowed in state registered locations and communities. According to Forum 18 Christians have been summarily fined for partaking in religious meetings outside of the designated areas as well as the confiscation of religious literature. The worst of these acts of religious persecution are the reports of torture while in custody for both Christians and Muslims. 

8/9/2016 Uzbekistan (Forum 18) – After police raided a religious meeting in a home in Bukhara Region, four Sufi Muslims were imprisoned for four years each for participating in an “illegal” religious group. Eleven more were fined. Protestants have been tortured and fined for “illegal” literature in homes.

Four members of a Sufi Muslim community were imprisoned for four years in Bukhara Region in June for religious meetings at home, as their community does not have state registration. Eleven more members were fined.

A Protestant in Urgench was fined in absentia in June, without being given a copy of the court verdict for weeks after the fine was handed down. The first he knew of the decision was when he was ordered to pay the fine. Police had tortured him after searching his home for religious literature (see below).

A Judge in Fergana fined a Protestant in June for having “illegal” religious literature in his home. He ordered eight Christian books to be confiscated. The Protestant had already spent sixteen days in prison to punish him for the same “offence”. While in prison he was tortured. The Prosecutor’s Office and Police dismissed all his complaints (see below).

Police in Navoi Region are seeking to have two Seventh-day Adventists punished for religious literature seized in a raid on the home of one of them. However, in July a court handed the case against the two back to Police for further investigation (see below).

Home religious meetings and literature “illegal”

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