Across Europe and Asia the energy crisis is being felt, including Uzbekistan where the energy system is nearing collapse. To make matters worse, the nation is experiencing the coldest winter in 50 years. With the inability to provide adequate heating in the cities, some people have moved to relatives in the country where the energy supply is more reliable. Some businesses and schools have closed due to no power or heating. Pray that many people will hear the Father God say, “I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (The Bible, Isaiah 41:13).
Source: Uzbekistan tries – and mostly fails – to cope with shock winter (Eurasianet)
The gateway from Asia to Europe, Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous country. The lucrative drug trade flows through this gateway, yet the country remains impoverished. Reforms in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry that have been gaining momentum since 2016 appear to have essentially eradicated the controversial child and slave labor linked to the annual cotton harvesting. The reforms have also improved relationships with other nations in the region and brought a bit more openness to the nation. Although it is a secular state promoting Islam, the government opposes Islamization. With an “iron fist,” Uzbek leaders control Islamic factions. With that same “iron fist,” Uzbek authorities target Christian Believers and limit freedom for church gatherings.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi asserted that Egypt is pressing ahead down the road toward upgrading Upper Egypt and exerting strenuous efforts, with a view to achieving development and stability and providing a decent life for citizens in all the southern parts of the country. He said he was extremely proud of all progress accomplished on the ground in Upper Egypt. The president was happy that Sohag Governorate – the heart of Upper Egypt – was the first place for him to visit during his field tours at the onset of the New Year 2030. Pray for President Sisi who is committed to overcoming all difficulties and meeting people’s aspirations for building a brighter future of Egypt. Pray for Egyptians to turn their hearts to Christ, the Living waters, and be satisfied in life (The Bible, Isaiah 44:3).
Egypt stays in 20th position in the World Watch report 2022 by Open Doors for Christian persecution with a slight increase in overall opposition to Christians. The current president of Egypt is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Mostafa Kamal Madbouly is the Prime Minister of Egypt, serving since 2018. Although Egypt’s government speaks positively about Egypt’s Christian community, the lack of serious law enforcement and the unwillingness of local authorities to protect Christians leave them vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. Due to the dictatorial nature of the regime, neither Church leaders nor other Christians are in a position to speak out against these practices. Christians of all backgrounds face difficulties in finding new places for communal worship. The difficulties come both from state restrictions, as well as from hostility and face mob violence. Christians from a Muslim background often have great difficulty in living their faith since they face enormous pressure from their families to return to Islam. The state also makes it impossible for them to get any official recognition of their conversion.