UZBEKISTAN: Fined for giving New Testament away

By Mushfig Bayram | Forum 18

Police searched a woman’s flat in Bukhara to seize a New Testament Shukhrat Safarov had given her. A court fined Safarov and ordered the book destroyed. The government’s Religious Affairs Committee claimed that using the New Testament for “missionary purposes” is illegal.

In the southern city of Bukhara, a court fined a Christian, Shukhrat Safarov, about two weeks’ average wages for giving an Uzbek-language New Testament away as a present. The judge ordered that the New Testament be destroyed. Police had found the New Testament during a search of the recipient’s home. The authorities committed multiple illegalities throughout the case.

After a late September 2018 police raid on a group of 40 Protestants meeting in Tashkent Region, where police “psychological pressure” resulted in a woman and a 5-year-old girl being hospitalised, a court has upheld the fines on 27 local Christians and deportations of four South Korean Protestants (see below).