Posted by: becketfund | September 5, 2006

Uzbekistan: Religious Minorities Face Fines, Beatings and Deportation

Forum 18 reports that deportation is now a popular tool used by Uzbek officials to persecute religious minorities.  On September 5, the non-Uzbek wife of Baptist pastor Sergei Khripunov was deported in a move thought to target her husband, who voluntarily left the country with her.  Khripunov’s church, Bethany Baptist in Tashkent, has long been denied official registration and has been fined for “unlawful religious activity” as a result.  Ms. Khripunova’s deportation is the second from the Bethany Baptist congregation, and the third this month from Uzbekistan’s religious minority communities.  The first incident occurred August 24 after police attacked a Protestant congregation in the southern town of Termez, beating parishioners and deporting a Ukrainian man who attended the meeting.

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