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.
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,” […]
The Uzbek regime continues to hold its citizens, including Christians, “in constant fear”, subjecting them to surveillance, threats, raids, fines and short-term imprisonments, according to regional news agency Forum 18’s analysis of religious freedom in Uzbekistan. In a comprehensive overview, Forum 18 highlights a number of incidents, including two in […]
Azamat became a Christian in the early days of Uzbekistan’s independence, soon after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, when, he says, the country “was a much freer place than it is now”. He embraced his new faith, setting up a network of house churches, and finding teachers for […]
Tohar Haydarov.International Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians and Baptists Uzbek authorities have released a Christian convert six years into his 10-year jail sentence. Tohar Haydarov, 33, was released on parole on 8 November after serving six years and 10 months of his prison term. A judge had ruled he […]
An Uzbek church leader has said he fears life will be even harder for minority Christians after the death of Islam Karimov, the country’s President since 1989. Karimov, who was installed during the Soviet era, was eventually confirmed to have died on 2 September, after a week of speculation following […]
Finally, their journey is over. Three years since fleeing Uzbekistan – following four years in a labour camp, house arrest and death threats – Pastor Dmitry Shestakov has arrived in the United States, where he and his family have been granted asylum. It’s been almost 10 years since Shestakov was […]
An Uzbek woman has been fined and sentenced to one and a half years of corrective labour for the “illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature”. Sharofat Allamova, a Protestant from Urgench in north-western Uzbekistan, has also been banned from leaving the country, is to be placed in […]