• Pray for safety, growth, and spiritual maturity for those in underground house churches.
• Pray for a miraculous explosion of religious freedom.
• Pray for believers to be bold in evangelism as foreign workers are expelled.
“Master of Himself” - this meaning of the word “Uzbek” defines the paradox of life in Uzbekistan. Ideology is manipulated by a government intent on preserving power through suppression of freedom in every area of life. Landlocked in the center of Asia on the ancient Silk Road, the area was a strategic conquest for numerous invaders. As a result, this most populous country in central Asia comprises numerous ethnic groups. The combined influence of more than one hundred years of Russian occupation followed by Soviet rule led to the prevailing system of government. While professing to be a secular republic based on constitutional rule of law, the executive branch exercises total control. Institutionalized corruption exists at every level of government, breeding poverty and economic stagnation.
Uzbeks boast a 99% literacy level, yet free access to information is non-existent, as all media is government controlled. The nation is also recognized for its skilled labor force; however, this stands in stark contrast to its reputation for human trafficking of men, women, and children, which is decried by the international community. Despite income sources in oil, cotton, and gold, corruption has caused a widening gap in income distribution among the lower ranks of society. Drug trafficking, including both production and distribution of elicit drugs, has made Uzbekistan a transit point for drug activity in the region.
Uzbekistan is 88% Sunni Muslim, and the majority follow a state appointed mufti, or Muslim legal expert, although more fundamental sects have formed and are known to be involved in terrorism. All churches, regardless of denomination, must be registered with the State, which endorses a moderate form of Islam. There are approximately 25,000 Christians in 65 unregistered churches facing persecution, arrest, and torture from targeted attacks by government controlled media and police. Despite increasing scrutiny and harassment, the church continues to grow, mainly in urban areas, where about one-third of Uzbeks reside.
Each day throughout Uzbekistan, families spread the dusterhon, or tablecloth, and cover it with tandir non, the Uzbek bread central to their culture. May they come to know Jesus, the Bread of Life, and be freed from lives ruled by poverty, corruption, and hopelessness.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: WORSHIP SONGS - 78; urhai adesa
Capital City: Tashkent
Major People Groups: 88% Turkic, 9% Indo-European
Religion: 83% Muslim, 14% Non
GDP Per Capita: $2,000
Literacy Rate: 99.3%