Uzbekistan ranks seventh on the list of countries where persecution of Christians is worst, but there is a pressing issue for a pastor right now.
His name is Makset Djabbarbergenov, a 32-year-old Uzbek national and father of five (although the fifth one has yet to arrive) seeking asylum in Kazakhstan. Currently he is imprisoned for practicing Christianity and starting a Protestant church, which he did since none existed when he received Christ as his savior 12 years ago.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) declared him a refugee since he was being persecuted by his government for his faith, but the Kazakhs disagreed and imprisoned him. His trial date for extradition to Uzbekistan has yet to be set. If granted, he could spend up to six years in prison in his home country.
His wife and children have been living in Kazakhstan, but they have suffered along with him. Even his sister-in-law was taken captive as leverage against him before his arrest. In his early days of imprisonment, he was too disturbed to eat, but has since prayed to the Lord that he will accept this cross if it is from Him.
Uzbekistan is a Country of Particular Concern according to the U.S. State Department, and common practices against Christians and human rights activists include torture, arbitrary arrests, and lack of freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.
Pastor Makset accepted Christ at the age of 20 and has stayed faithful to Him since, despite political and legal opposition. Please join me in praying for him, for his release from prison, his and his family’s asylum to be granted, for his safety while in dangerous territory, for his joy in the Lord to be renewed, and for the Word to comfort him in his distress.
Please also pray for his family, that his wife Aigul would have the fortitude and resources to care properly for their family while on her own. Pray for the fears of his children to be assauged and for their confidence in the Lord to be built during this long-standing period of difficulty. Pray for Aigul to have a safe pregnancy and delivery of their fifth child, that the child would be carried to term and born healthy.
There is also an opportunity for you to take further action on behalf of Makset.
At this link you can write to the Kazakh Ambassador to the United States urging for Makset’s release from prison and his granting of asylum as a refugee. There is already a message template written out, but you may personalize it. Please remember, if you choose to write, that as Erlan Idrissov is an ambassador of his country, we are ambassadors of Christ. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and we would be amiss to present a false picture of Christ by using harsh or angry language in our letters. This is a plea for a man’s freedom, not a platform for our political opinions. Our words should be seasoned with grace.
Thank you for following and for praying.