PrayerCast, June 20, 2020
President Karimov, who ruled for 27 years, died in 2016 and was succeeded by the prime minister, Mirziyoyev. Yet institutionalized corruption still exists at every level of government. Although Uzbeks boast a 99% literacy level, all media is government controlled, and free access to information is non-existent. This nation now acts as a transit point for drug activity, particularly Afghan narcotics going to Russia and Western Europe, and has a reputation for human trafficking.
Uzbekistan is in the top twenty most persecuted nations in the world. Approximately 84% claim Islam, while less than 1% are Christian. Of the sixty-one people groups, thirty-four remain unreached by the Gospel. Fundamentalist sects and those who seek to establish Islamic law have formed.
All churches, regardless of denomination, must be registered with the government. There are approximately 25,000 Christians in dozens of 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.