(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
UZBEKISTAN: Population 33.6 million, Christians 347,000
Though all Christians experience some level of persecution in Uzbekistan, Protestants are often the victims of the greatest pressure. Christians who are a part of these non-registered churches may be viewed as “extremists,” and the government believes church members are spies trying to destroy the government. Therefore, Christians and their churches may be monitored, and unregistered churches may be the victims of police raids, arrests, and fines. Additionally, Uzbekistan is largely Muslim, so any Christian who converted from Islam faces increased pressure from their family and community. Christians in these situations may be locked up, beaten, or expelled from their communities. Many converts from Islam are forced to hide their faith.
Meet “Adam,” who attends a church that tried to register with the Uzbek government. “The police asked us why we became Christians and demanded we renounce our faith. This had never happened before, even when we were fined in previous years. This happened because we asked for registration.”
This year, persecution continued to be significant against Christians in Uzbekistan. A new criminal code was drafted in 2021, which continues to penalize the distribution of religious literature, meeting for worship without government permission and “talking about faith.” The previous laws about religious activity were often criticized for being vague, but this update gives way to even greater persecution. Protestant churches continue to be targeted by authorities, and Christians who converted from Islam are still persecuted by both government and community.
The level of persecution by government officials in Uzbekistan is the same all over the country, particularly on Christians who don’t belong to a registered church, as well as Christians suspected of evangelizing. For Christians who converted from Islam, the pressure is strongest outside of urban areas, especially in the Fergana Valley in the east.
A new law that became effective last year penalizes:
- Illegal to produce, store or import unauthorized religious material
- Distribution of religious literature
- Meeting for worship without Government permission
- Talking about faith
- Pray that God will touch President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in a special way and that he gets to know Him
- Ask God to touch the authorities to revise the new religious laws and to open up freedom for all religions.
- Pray for the protection of Christians that are part of non – registered churches and are viewed by the government as extremists and spies to destroy the government.
- Pray for MBB that the Lord will protect them, that they grow in faith and experience the peace of God.
- Pray for the Christians who are discriminated their community and others because of their faith
- Pray to the Lord for Christians who lose their jobs because of their faith.
- Pray for the Christians who live in an intense hostile area and therefore have to keep their faith a secret.
- Pray for pastors and elders who do covert ministry to minister to believers.
- Pray for NGOs to encourage and strengthen believers through spiritual and physical support.
- Pray that Christians will be given wisdom and boldness and protection as they go out to bring the good news to the lost.
- Pray that Christians have good access to the internet and that the messages will minister to them as well speak to unbelievers who surf the net.
- Pray to the Lord that He will reveal Himself to Muslims in their dreams and
- Pray that Christians have good internet coverage where they live and that the messages will edify them as well as touch unbelievers who surf the net.
- Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
- Pray to the Lord that He will grow and expand His churches in Uzbekistan in spite of their struggle with oppression and persecution.
We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.
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.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran for his release and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.
“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)
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: (667) 770-1476
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 were 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, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader 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.
Photo: Peter Fitzgerald, Wikimedia Commons