PASTOR ON TRIAL AS REPRESSION MOUNTS IN UZBEKISTAN
Persecution has so escalated in Uzbekistan that in November 2006 the US State Department added Uzbekistan to its list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for its ongoing violations of religious freedom. Christians are not only persecuted by radicalised local Muslims, but by the repressive government of President Islam Karimov which views Islamic militants and Protestants equally as a serious threat to social harmony and national security. Dmitry Shestakov (37), pastor of a registered Full Gospel church in Andijan, refused to give the police a list of church members when they raided his home in June 2006. He was arrested on 21 January 2007 and stands accused of stirring up inter-religious hatred and distributing religious extremist literature. His trial is imminent and he could face up to 20 years in prison. Please pray.