Published: 00:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 03 May 2007
Confusion over Appeal of Uzbekistan Pastor
Harassment of Christians around the country continues
Barnabas Aid has received further news concerning Pastor Dmitri (David) Shestakov in Uzbekistan. David's appeal hearing was set for 1st May but other Christians in the country were surprised to learn that he had withdrawn his appeal. They suspect that the authorities had put pressure on him of some kind to force him to make this unexpected move. David's lawyer has not been allowed to see him, despite repeated requests. It is thought that David will now be sent swiftly to a penal colony to begin his four-year sentence.
Please pray for true justice to prevail in Uzbekistan. Pray that our heavenly Father, who is Sovereign over all, will turn the situation around, so that David is released. Pray for protection for him and for his lawyer. Pray especially for a peace which passes all understanding to surround both David and his family while they wait for news.
The trial of another pastor in Uzbekistan, Salavat Serikbaev, began yesterday and is continuing. Pastor Salavat has no lawyer and is conducting his own defence. He is charged with "incitement to religious hatred", "running an illegal religious organisation" and "distributing materials promoting religious extremism."
Pray that Salavat will have wisdom from above as he defends himself in court and that his words will be a powerful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that he will be acquitted and allowed to return to his ministry.
Last Sunday 29th April some members of Emmanuel Church in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, were arrested by the police. The Christians were threatened and two of them were beaten.
Please pray for an end to the harassment of Christians by the Uzbek authorities. Pray that Christians will be allowed to worship freely.