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“Anti-terror” raid on home of elderly Christian woman in Uzbekistan

Country/Region: Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Uzbek officials were said to have “acted like bandits” in an illegal raid on the home of an elderly Christian woman who has Parkinson’s disease.

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A Bible and Christian books were confiscated and destroyed

When Naziya Ziyatdinova (76), who has great difficulty walking because of her medical condition, did not immediately open the door of her home in Guliston, four police officers banged on the doors and shouted loudly, disturbing the neighbours. One of them then forced his way into the property through a second-floor window.

The officers then removed Naziya from her bed and, according to local Christians, “turned everything in the home upside down” without producing a search warrant. They confiscated her Bible, other Christian books and DVDs.   

The incident, which was officially described as “Anti-terror-Cleaning”, took place on 14 March. Several court hearings have subsequently taken place, culminating in Naziya being fined on 19 April 795,900 Soms, which is ten times the minimum monthly salary.

Christian friends said that she cannot afford this sum, as she has to scrape by on a monthly pension of just 120,000 Soms, which is not even enough for her to buy her medicines.

Naziya was convicted of “Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan with a purpose to distribute or distribution of religious materials by physical persons”.

The judge ordered that her Bible, 14 Christian books, six DVDs and a video be destroyed. She was told by court officials, “This is a Muslim country and all of your Christian books including the Bible are outlawed”.   

She had been threatened with more serious charges relating to the carrying out of unauthorised religious activity in an effort to pressure her to sign an incriminating statement against her daughter. But she refused.

The legal proceedings caused Naziya a great deal of anxiety. After one court hearing, the pensioner felt so unwell that an ambulance was called for her.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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