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%
Official language: Uzbek Languages: 39 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Uzbekistan is the strategic key to Central Asia, hence the intensifying struggle between the post-Soviet regime and the Islamist movements. The governments iron fist policy is not deterring thousands of jobless young men from joining these movements. But much of the population is torn between these two and tired of the poverty, corruption and failure to progress. Pray for genuine change, reform and leadership that demonstrates uprightness and governs for the sake of the people. Pray that in the midst of the struggle, many may find true peace that only Jesus can give.
Tashkent is the Islamic capital of Central Asia in terms of both numbers and influence. Islam is more a part of the Uzbek cultural identity than it is a faithfully practiced religion; folk/occult practices are deeply tied into the beliefs of mostly the rural Uzbeks. Since a burst of Islamic activity soon after independence, the government has reined in most Islamic missionaries and mosque-buildings and tightly controls and monitors all Islamic activity.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Uzbekistan.