(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in a prayer call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
UZBEKISTAN: Population 33.2 million, Christians 345,000 [1%]
Though Uzbekistan has long been a highly restricted country, its government has made incremental reforms in religious freedom in recent years. Though restrictions on churches and Christian organizations have eased, evangelism and conversion are opposed, and it is still illegal to distribute evangelistic literature in public. This improvement, with unity among believers across several Christian denominations and a focus on training and equipping Christian leaders, is a positive development for the small number of Uzbek churches and Christians.
83 percent of Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims. 2 percent are Christians, including a small fraction of 1 percent who are evangelicals. Many are irreligious as a result of suffering under decades of atheistic Communist rule until the fall of the Soviet Union. The government fines Christian converts from Islam, and families often reject family members who become Christians.
Converts from Islam are persecuted by their families, communities and sometimes by the government. Evangelical Christians are considered religious extremists and have been fined and detained for worship, which the government sometimes considers to be illegal religious activity. Orthodox churches meet openly and legally, but most evangelical Christians meet in unregistered groups. Uzbekistan’s government once routinely imprisoned Christians, but fines and short detentions have since become more common.
Bibles are difficult to obtain and, for some Christians, risky to own.
- Pray the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will bring welcome changes for the country’s Christian population.
- Pray the Holy Spirit will encourage, equip and empower believers facing pressure and persecution.
- Request ongoing protection and nourishment of church leaders in Uzbekistan, who can come under immense pressure in their roles.
- Pray for VOM and other NGOs to distributes Christian literature and equips pastors and evangelists with ministry tools that expand their outreach and other ministry work.
- Pray that pastors and leaders will lead by example.
- Pray that God will heal the sick and provide for their families.
- Pray for revival in the country.
- Pray for the protection of Christian doctors and nurses.
- Pray that Christians will remain strong during difficult times.
- Pray that opportunities will open up for believers to share the gospel with others safely.
- Pray the Lord will give His believers safe places to worship and hear His word.
- Pray for strong internet coverage and that there will great messages that will encourage believers and draw in non-believers.
- Pray that the Lord will protect and grow His church, that the Lord will bind the forces of darkness and make His church visible to all.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
- Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
- Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
- Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: 712 775-7035
Access Code: 281207#
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church was moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.
We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.