Uzbekistan (MNN) ― The nation ranked #7 on the Open Doors USAWorld Watch List has recently produced a string of offenses against believers, including police raids, beatings, and outrageous fines for religious activity. Forum 18 News Service reports that two elderly women are the latest victims.
Police broke into the home of Nina Cashina, a 74-year-old disabled Protestant, and confiscated 25 Christian books, including 7 Bibles and 3 Russian New Testaments, 25 DVDs, and 20 audio tapes. They then broke into a home belonging to Cashina's neighbor, Gulya. Forum 18 was unable to discover Gulya's full name but learned from sources that she is registered as a disabled person at a local clinic.
After raiding Gulya's home, police handcuffed the woman and dragged her to their car, where she was beaten by several officers. The two women were then taken to a nearby police station, where Gulya suffered an epileptic attack. Pray for this woman's recovery.
Doctors wanted to take her to a hospital, but police wouldn’t let them, said Forum 18. Instead, they "forced her to write a dictated statement that Chashina [was] distributing DVDs of Christian films among Muslims."
Both women were released, and Chashina may now face administrative charges. Forum 18 said a multitude of believers in Uzbekistan have faced persecution like this. In some cases, fines soar nearly 30 times the minimum wage.
In the eastern region of Uzbekistan, a Baptist was fined for singing Christian songs.
Forum 18 reported the excessive fines against Viktor Kotov in early September. On a Sunday morning, Kotov's home was raided by fifteen plain-clothed officers, who began questioning the group without showing any documentation.
Reportedly, officers then made records and left. Kotov was later fined 314,600 Soms, or five times the minimum monthly wage.
"When the officials broke in, [Kotov], his wife and children and an elderly woman who is a friend of the family were simply singing Christian songs," local believers told Forum 18.
"This case shows once again that Uzbekistan's authorities are resolute in leading a struggle against the country's Christians."