Despite the death of President Islam Karimov in 2016, Uzbekistan’s authoritarian regime continues to regard Christianity as alien and destabilising. State agencies monitor religious activities through raids, bugging homes, tapping phones, and infiltrating groups. Christian materials, if found, are confiscated, while Christians also face interrogation and detention. Muslim converts to Christianity experience additional pressure from their families and communities to return to Islam.

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Uzbekistan says religious freedom ‘progressing’, despite new restrictions

Legislators in Uzbekistan's Lower House have to sign off a series of reform bills that will improve the human rights situation in the country. (Photo: Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Uzbekistan is progressing towards rapid transformation, including political, economic, and importantly, religious freedom,” said the deputy chairman of the Uzbek Senate yesterday (25 July) at a side event to the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom currently being held in Washington DC. “Uzbekistan is progressing towards rapid transformation, including political, […]

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Uzbek pastor might face criminal charges after police repeat raids on his home

Members of Pastor Kim's church were, like these Christians elsewhere in Uzbekistan, having a meal together to celebrate Easter when the first police raid took place. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

An Uzbek Baptist pastor, who is already serving at home a two-year sentence for having religious books, might now be facing criminal charges. Police raided Pastor Stanislav Kim’s flat in Urgench, north-western Khorezm Region, twice last month, on Easter Sunday (8 April) and a week later (15 April), while the […]

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Uzbekistan President vows to reform ‘mad dog’ secret police

Uzbekistan President vows to reform ‘mad dog’ secret police

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has said he will reform the country’s secret police, reports Radio Free Europe (RFERL). Calling members of the security services “mad dogs”, Mirziyoev has accused the SNB (a successor to the Soviet-era KGB) of committing atrocities, targeting innocent people and “exceeding its authority”. The SNB developed […]

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Uzbekistan should ‘protect religious freedom, not see religion as a threat’ – UN Special Rapporteur

Uzbekistan should ‘protect religious freedom, not see religion as a threat’ – UN Special Rapporteur

Uzbekistan should invest more time in protecting religious freedom in its ongoing reforms rather than see religion as a threat, a UN expert has concluded after an official visit to the country. “Resilience against religious extremism can be built on strengthening diversity as well as freedom of religion or belief,” […]

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