Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization. (CIA)

1. Since large gatherings are forbidden, small groups targeting youths should be active.

2. There is a great shortage of local youth leaders.


1. Uzbekistan has one of the worst records in the world for religious freedom. The government particularly targets dynamic and evangelistic churches, making it impossible for them to officially register. Telling people about God could result in three years in prison and opening an unregistered Christian group would result in five years. Pray that God would give Christians strength and perseverance in the face of persecution.

2. Phone calls or e-mails sent by missionaries and church leaders are not secured.

3. A few Christians are concentrated in Tashkent, the capital city, and most of them are Russians or

Koryo-saram. Let us pray for the evangelization of Uzbeks.