For Christians in the region’s most populous country practicing their faith has become difficult, though the Russian Orthodox Church seem to be less affected. All activities of unregistered churches are strictly forbidden both inside and outside the churches. Youth activities are forbidden, outreaches are forbidden, seminars and training are forbidden. Private Bible studies are being tolerated, but those meetings are always in danger of being closed down. The strict monitoring of all Christian activities continues and has even been intensified. Though it is fair to say that registered churches have a somewhat better standing, they nonetheless also have suffered an increasing number of raids, church members were fined and underwent harassment by the authorities. Especially youth activities are targeted with officials intimidating young believers, often instilling a fear of taking part in church meetings in them. Additionally, when brought to court, a fair treatment is no more than a far dream for anyone, including Christians.
The government policy of not just fining Christians, but also giving them short term prison sentences of 3 to 15 days, continues. The number of Christians undergoing such treatment has increased considerably. The raids and threats are not limited to a certain area of the country, but are reported from the capital Tashkent as well as rural areas, from Western Karakalpakstan to the Eastern Ferghana Valley. (Open Doors Jan. 2012)
Three members of the same Protestant church in southern Uzbekistan are facing administrative charges to punish them for their religious activity, Forum 18 News Service reported Tuesday. The charges follow police raids on Jan. 3 on the homes of two of the three Christians — Shokir Rahmatullayev and Lyudmila Suvorova — during which authorities reportedly beat them and confiscated Christian books and DVDs. Police was reported as saying: “I don’t care about the law or your rights.” Authorities have denied any such incident occurred.