Uzbekistan "Bans" Bibles

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

By BosNewsLife News Center

TASHKENT/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife) -- Thousands of Christians in Uzbekistan were without anticipated Bibles and related Christian literature Sunday, July 13, as authorities have reportedly imposed a ban on Bible imports, a major Christian publishing group said.

Uzbekistan's Bible Society said in published remarks that the government's Religious Affairs Committee - which controls all religious literature - has refused permission for a Bible shipment to clear through customs.

"This represents a ban on the import of Bibles into Uzbekistan," the Bible Society said in remarks published by the news agency of human rights group Forum 18.

The shipment of 11,000 Bibles and Bible-related books in Uzbek, Karakalpak and Russian has been held by customs in the capital Tashkent since May 19, the group said.


Asked whether people in Uzbekistan are free to read books they like, an official of the government's National Human Rights Centre reportedly responded: "I haven't the right to answer this question."

In addition, Justice Ministry officials have closely monitored the Bible Society's activities from 4 to 10 July, Forum 18 said.

It comes amid international concern over a reports of a crackdown on Christian groups in the former Soviet nation.

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