A Muslim country in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is watered by the great rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Its famous cities of Samarkand and Bukhara were strategic locations on the Silk Road and became important centres of Islamic civilization. Today the country has a population of 27 million, made up of Muslim Uzbeks plus Russians and Tajiks.

There were open doors, and exciting breakthroughs took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union and led to many Uzbeks coming to faith. There are an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 Uzbek believers. Official churches are predominantly Russian speaking while Uzbek fellowships are generally underground house churches. No Uzbek church has yet got official registration. Severe persecution from the government keeps fellowships small but general despair in society is bringing many to put their hope in Jesus.

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Photos from Central Asia