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Letters Encourage Uzbekistan Christians

Shestakov family
Pastor Shestakov’s family today

Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was in prison in Uzbekistan from 2007 to 2011 because of his Christian activities. You can read a story about his daughter Vera in the post Uzbekistan: Vera Update.

Many Christians wrote the pastor letters while he was in prison, using instructions from VOM’s PrisonerAlert website. Here is what he said about the letters:

“These letters gave a great encouragement to us. We all read them! And when we feel ourselves a part of a large Christian family, we are filled with joy. People pray for us, think of us. They send cards. Someone took the time. Every time we re-read and reviewed all of this and filled with joy!”

VOM president, Jim Dau, said, “Testimonies like this from our persecuted family illustrate why VOM continues to encourage readers to write to Christians in prison.”

Read the post Writing to Prisoners to learn more about how to write letters to prisoners.

Christian Father in Danger

Makset and his family in 2010

Makset Djabbarbergenov and his wife are the parents of four sons, and they are expecting a baby. About five years ago, they left their home country, Uzbekistan, and moved to Kazakhstan. Makset was in danger of being arrested in Uzbekistan for teaching people about Jesus and for passing out Christian literature.

Now Makset has been detained by police in Kazakhstan. Officials are trying to decide whether or not to send him back to Uzbekistan. He faces years in prison if he is sent back.

Please pray for Makset and his family.

(Source: VOM Canada)

U.S. State Department’s Religious Freedom Report


This week the U.S. Department of State released their 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. The report covers 199 countries and territories. Go to the report here and use the “Go to a Country Report” drop-down box to begin searching reports from specific countries. The reports tell what religions people in the country follow, what the laws of the country say about religious freedom, and whether or not there are abuses of religious freedom in that country.

See the “Countries” section on this site or the “Restricted Nations” section at for further information about selected countries.

Countries in the News


Xinjiang, China: Did you know that millions of Muslims live in China? Xinjiang [SHIN-jyang] is in western China. About 8 to 10 milliong Uygurs [WEE-gurs] live there, and most of them are Muslims. A few days ago, police raided a house church in Xinjiang and took away more than 70 Christians.

Learn more about Christians in Xinjiang in the book Bold Believers Among the Uygurs, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. (Do some research to find out what “doubly landlocked” means.) Police are raiding house churches in Uzbekistan, too. Open Doors has named Uzbekistan one of the top ten countries on its World Watch List of persecuting countries.

Learn more about Christians in Uzbekistan in the book Bold Believers in Uzbekistan, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Turkey: A U.S. commission is recommending that Turkey be named a “country of particular concern.” Turkey does not have religious freedom for non-Muslims, the commission says.

Learn more about Christians in Turkey in the book Bold Believers in Turkey, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Pray for Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.

The International Day of Prayer: Salavat

This video, produced for The Voice of the Martyrs, shows the real stories of Christians in Uzbekistan, who suffer hardship and persecution as believers in Jesus Christ.

This video was produced for the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) in 2010. To learn more about the International Day of Prayer, visit