Uzbekistan Photos (Pt. 2)

I posted another round of photos from my time in Uzbekistan (Read the original post here about where these are coming from). As I said before, I will gladly sell these to you in any format for any price, and all profits will go to supporting the Kingdom of Jesus in Central Asia.

See the rest of them on my flickr feed here.

Advertisements

More trouble in Uzbekistan

A Protestant from north-west Uzbekistan, Jandos Kuandikov, was arrested on 14 June and is still in detention before facing criminal trial on terrorism charges, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Uzbek police have also recently falsely accused a Protestant refugee in Kazakhstan of terrorism charges. Amongst other recent violations of freedom of thought, conscience and belief, four Baptists in Tashkent Region – Natalya Ogai, Filipp Kim, Dmitri Kim and Nurlan Tolebaev – have been fined and sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment, because of their peaceful religious activity. Fines continue to be imposed on other Protestants. However, in a highly unusual move, a court in the capital Tashkent found that charges against a Protestant had been fabricated and ordered police to be punished for this. But members of Tashkent’s Hare Krishna community have been banned from taking part in a music and environment festival.

Read the whole article here

Some quick links

Every time I come across something I want to draw your attention to via this blog, I leave it open in a tab, in hopes that some day I’ll have time to write what I really want to write about it.

…that hasn’t happened in a while though

And now my computer tells me that it must reboot to apply some security changes, so I’m going to throw a few links at you before I have to close my browser. I hope you’ll take time to look:

Uzbekistan TV Campaign Against Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses

This is something I experienced first-hand while I was overseas. People are literally brainwashed as their own fearless (revolting excuse for a man) leader comes on national television and tells them that Christians are only in their country to steal away their culture. And it’s effective. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):

On Saturday 17 May state television broadcast in prime time a report describing such groups as a “global problem, along with religious dogmatism, fundamentalism, terrorism, and drug addiction,” actively involved in deceiving young people and minors.

The documentary featured Uzbek religious and political experts, state officials as well as representatives of the other religions, all of whom took a critical view of missionaries.

People are literally taught that the Gospel is as dangerous as terrorism or drug addiction.

I guess in a way it is…

Uzbekistan: Longest-Held Political Prisoner Free After Two Decades In Jail

The United Nations has decided that Uzbekistan has the 5th most corrupt government in the world.

And cotton is a big deal.

It’s a cash crop.

Farmers are literally forced to grow cotton and sell it to their government at substandard wages, while their families starve because of the essential foods that are not grown instead. University students are forced to take 4-8 weeks during the summer to pick cotton for the government, for free. And this guy was sent to jail for most of his life, why: because he made it work. That’s why there’s such a pervasive sense of hopeless in Central Asia. Because it seems like people are punished for doing anything but suffering…

Why do I share this? Because I want you to pray.

Adoniram Judson’s Advice to Missionaries

I found this on the Desiring God blog. If you don’t know who Adoniram Judson was, then you owe it to yourself to look him up. Desiring God has some great free resources, and I believe for a dollar or two you can buy a 1 1/2 hour talk by Piper about his life. The short version of the story is: The Gospel is alive in Burmha because of Judson’s amazing dedication and sacrifice. Here are a couple of his points to anyone who would be a missionary:

First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! for what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?

Fifthly. Beware of the reaction which will take place soon after reaching your field of labor. There you will perhaps find native Christians, of whose merits or demerits you can not judge correctly without some familiar acquaintance with their language. Some appearances will combine to disappoint and disgust you. You will meet with disappointments and discouragements, of which it is impossible to form a correct idea from written accounts, and which will lead you, at first, almost to regret that you have embarked in the cause. You will see men and women whom you have been accustomed to view through a telescope some thousands of miles long. Such an instrument is apt to magnify. Beware, therefore, of the reaction you will experience from a combination of all these causes, lest you become disheartened at commencing your work, or take up a prejudice against some persons and places, which will embitter all your future lives.

Eighthly. Never lay up money for yourselves or your families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you shall be fed.

Seventhly. Beware of pride; not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men — that secret pride which is apt to grow out of the consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good. This pride sometimes eats out the vitals of religion before its existence is suspected. In order to check its operations, it may be well to remember how we appear in the sight of God, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men, if all were known. Endeavor to let all be known. Confess your faults freely, and as publicly as circumstances will require or admit. When you have done something of which you are ashamed, and by which, perhaps, some person has been injured (and what man is exempt?), be glad not only to make reparation, but improve the opportunity for subduing your pride.

(Read all 10 here.)

Silk Road to the Present

This is an article from the Moscow Times about the city where I spent a year. It’s funny to hear someone talk about the city from a tourist’s perspective, but it’s interesting none-the-less.

Uzbekistan: International Groups Blast Tashkent’s “Media Freedom Conference”

Excerpt:

The idea was that major international rights groups — including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the International Crisis Group, and the Open Society Institute — would attend and contribute to a frank exchange on a topic that generally makes the region’s leaders squeamish.

At the last minute, however, Uzbek officials scrapped the plans for an EU-Uzbek conference on civil society. Instead they staged an “Uzbek version” of the gathering that participants and would-be participants said fell far short of Brussels’ goals.

This is how they role in that good ol’ corrupt country.

Pray for Uzbekistan y’all.

Gas Shortage In Central Asia

screenshot1.jpg

When I was in Central Asia, the lack of heating gas was a serious issue. There were weeks were it seemed just about impossible to get warm. And in this article they’re saying that this year is much worse than years past: It’s colder and there’s less gas for heating. And it’s mostly because they have a terrible, selfish leader who does not fear God.

Please pray for the folks in Central Asia, and click here to read the whole article from BBC.