Still more evidence that the freedom of conscience is still severely restricted in the Islamic world, even in countries deemed “moderate.” “House Church Faces Crushing Opposition: Village strongman mounts vicious attack against local Christians,” from Compass Direct, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Christians in a remote village of Uzbekistan are being beaten, publicly humiliated and hounded out of their homes and jobs for converting to Christianity.
Kaldibek Primbetov, leader of the beleaguered group of Protestants in Janbashkala village, near Turtkul in southwestern Uzbekistan, said one man is orchestrating this harsh opposition against their small congregation.
“There is no place here for Christians,” Primbetov was warned two years ago, when the village’s most wealthy and influential man mounted a vicious campaign against fewer than 100 Protestant believers.
“Our whole population here is Muslim,” village strongman Tokhtabay Sadikov told the families who had converted to Christianity. “So you”d better go to Kazakhstan or Russia, if you want to be Christians.”
As the most powerful man in the village, Sadikov since early 2004 has pressured local police and civic officials, the prosecutor’s office, the secret police and Muslim clerics to impose punishing measures against every villager known to have “abandoned the Muslim faith of their parents” to become Christian.
Protestant believers in the predominantly Kazakh village of 12,000 are now refused access to drinking water for their homes, with men, women and even children subjected to severe beatings for their faith, Primbetov told Compass. Others have lost their jobs or businesses, had their homes attacked or confiscated and faced astronomical fines for participating in house church meetings.