Freedom of Religion

Uzbekistan Confiscating Bibles

Officials have been searching private homes for bibles and other "incendiary materials".

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Authorities in Uzbekistan are searching private homes for what they consider incendiary material—Bibles.

Forum 18, an Oslo-based religious-freedom watchdog, says that Roman Nizamutdinov, a Baptist living in Navoi, was fined 2,516,800 Uzbek sums (a hefty amount, considering the monthly minimum wage in Uzbekistan is around 72,355) for "illegally" storing religious books in his private home.

The judge presiding over the case, Oltynbek Mansurov of Navoi Criminal Court, said the books were affiliated with the Jehovah's Witnesses, a group that only has official permission to exist in Tashkent Region, but presumably not Navoi. Forum 18 says the books were actually Protestant books, like "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. Nizamutdinov says he will contest the fine.