Subjected to severe beatings, Christian convert and pastor marks one year in prison
A Christian Uzbek pastor jailed since February 1999 on contrived fraud charges is being subjected to physical beatings for witnessing to his cellmates, church sources in the Central Asian republic reported in early March.
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An Uzbek citizen of Korean descent, Stanislav was directing a local construction company when he embraced Christianity about six years ago, church sources said.
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Arrested in early February 1999, Stanislav was sentenced just a few weeks later without a formal trial. His lawyer was not allowed to be present at the court proceedings.
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At least a quarter of the 200-member congregation are ethnic Uzbeks.When Stanislav refused to renounce his Christian activities, he was reportedly threatened that unless he paid a massive $5,000 bribe, he would be arrested and thrown in jail. “He was too honest,” one source commented. “And until now he has refused to allow any publicity about his jailing, because he personally wanted to stay and minister inside the prison.
Christian Uzbek Pastor Marks One Year in Prison
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct, March 1, 2000
Apostates are being refused access to drinking water, subjected to severe beatings, publicly humiliated and hounded out of their homes and jobs for converting to Christianity
“There is no place here for Christians,” Primbetov was warned two years ago, when the village’s most wealthy and influential man mounted a vicious campaign against fewer than 100 Protestant believers. “Our whole population here is Muslim,” village strongman Tokhtabay Sadikov told the families who had converted to Christianity. “So you’d better go to Kazakhstan or Russia, if you want to be Christians.”
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Protestant believers in the predominantly Kazakh village of 12,000 are now refused access to drinking water for their homes, with men, women and even children subjected to severe beatings for their faith, Primbetov told Compass. Others have lost their jobs or businesses, had their homes attacked or confiscated and faced astronomical fines for participating in house church meetings.
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In the face of overt opposition, more than half of Janbashkala’s Christian families have fled the village, located in the Uzbekistan’s autonomous region of Karakalpakstan. Only 20 of the remaining church members still dare to meet for worship with Primbetov, the first man in the village to become a Christian five years ago.
Uzbekistan: House Church Faces Crushing Opposition
Compass Direct, October 28, 2005