A Muslim country at the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan lies in the heart of Asia, 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. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the communist elite have continued to maintain an oppressive and corrupt regime which has resulted in ever-deepening poverty and desperation.
Exciting things are happening spiritually in Uzbekistan and many are coming to faith across the country. There are an estimated number of 8,000 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.