Christian Convert from Islam Released Early from His 10-year Sentence
In Uzbekistan, an already very hostile place for religious freedom, Tohar Haydarov, a Christian convert, has been released early from his 10-year sentence. Sources say he was released early because of his good behavior and for serving more than half of his imprisonment sentence. Haydarov, who converted from Islam, was found guilty in March 2010 of drugs charges, whom many claim was fabricated. According to the charity Release International, his arrest followed a request by some of his relatives that local police help them force Haydarov to return to Islam. Sadly, severe persecution is a reality for many Christians in Central Asia, especially those who convert from Islam.
11/29/2016 Uzbekistan (Christian Today) – A jailed Christian convert has been released six years into his 10-year sentence by Uzbek authorities.
According to World Watch Monitor, Tohar Haydarov, 33, was released on parole after serving six years and 10 months of his prison term. He has returned to his home in Gulistan, eastern Uzbekistan.
“God heard the prayers of many Christians,” the Council of Churches Baptists told the Oslo-based Forum 18 News Service. “We are thankful to everybody who prayed for him and sent letters to him while in prison.”
One member of the Baptist community, Gleb Serin, told Forum 18 that “Tohar was amnestied for his good behaviour, and because he had already served more than half of his prison term”.
Uzbekistan is officially secular but religious freedom, especially of minority groups, is severely restricted.
Haydarov, a convert from Islam, was found guilty in March 2010 of drugs charges, which local Baptists insist were fabricated. According to the charity Release International, his arrest followed a request by some of his relatives that local police help them force Haydarov to return to Islam.