Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan

Republic of Uzbekistan

Asia

See Prayer Information

Geography

Area: 447,400 sq km

Fertile, irrigated mountain valleys in the east, notably the Ferghana Valley. Desert and Aral Sea in the west.

Population: 27,794,296    Annual Growth: 1.10%

Capital: Tashkent

Urbanites: 36.9%

HDI Rank: 119 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)

Peoples

Peoples: 67 (55% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Uzbek    Languages: 39 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Muslim

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr
Christians208,4570.75-1.6
Evangelicals84,9570.34.4
Muslim23,605,69684.93 

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Uzbek believers continue to increase despite great opposition. The prospect of retribution from three sides – the government, local Muslim leaders and the community (family and neighbours) – has not halted growth. There are now probably more than 10,000 Uzbek believers, where there were possibly none only a generation ago. But much prayer is still needed:

a) For the discipling and mentoring of new believers. No one knows how many isolated individuals and clusters exist, but there are far more than those affiliated with officially recognized churches. Many fall away when difficulties intensify; pray that Christians might be integrated quickly into home groups or fellowships where they can grow. Many others find their witness curtailed by fear; pray for boldness for them.

b) For local believers who are accused of being cultural/religious traitors and “rice Christians”. Pray for gentleness and humility as well as right motives for all those who seek to integrate into the churches.

c) For the distribution of believers. Most Uzbek Christians live in Tashkent and other cities, despite 63% of Uzbeks living in rural areas.

d) For indigenous leadership to be raised up. Bible training for this infant Church is urgently needed, as is spiritual maturity and godliness. Fast-growing churches need quality leaders even more urgently.

e) For cultural authenticity. Ask the Lord to raise up culturally appropriate Uzbek Christian literature, music, worship styles and fellowship structures. There are Uzbek ministry-training courses, led and taught completely by Uzbeks. These things are beginning to emerge, with significant fruit as a result.

Uzbekistan’s government relentlessly persecutes the Church. Dynamic and evangelism-oriented churches, especially Uzbek churches, are particularly targeted. Uzbek Christian leaders have extensive files on them compiled by the 14 different government agencies that monitor religious activity. Persecution tactics include: public humiliation, property seizure, book and Bible-burning, expulsion of Christian students, dismissal of Christian employees, arrests (followed by beating and torture) under the flimsiest of pretexts and massive fines for first offences (up to 50 times the annual salary). The near impossibility of legally registering has birthed a mobile and fast-growing house church movement. A well-networked union of house churches helps to create stability and support amid the persecution. Pray for Christians who are under pressure to betray fellow believers to the authorities. Pray too for those persecuted and in prison, that God may give them strength and boldness.

     For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Uzbekistan.