(From Forum 18)
11 January 2006
UZBEKISTAN: SENIOR TASHKENT OFFICIAL DENIES
"CAMPAIGN" AGAINST RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS
Despite launching a sweeping new crackdown on all aspects of religiouslife in the capital Tashkent - involving many state agencies checking upon religious leaders, the finances and activity of religious communities and the places where they meet - the Deputy Head of the cityadministration has vigorusly denied that this is anything more than routine. "No special measures are being deployed," Anvar Ahmedov assuredForum 18 News Service. "There is no campaign against religious believers."
But religious believers are worried, especially as the measures are also designed to halt all unregistered religious activity (which the authorities regard as illegal) and come on top of already tight controls.
Officials "will control everything except our thoughts and our personal life," one Christian told Forum 18 from Tashkent.
Which is no doubt what the folks at Calvary Chapel are thinking. In a story in today's USA Today, Calvary Chapel is suing the University of California, where officials are unilaterally determining that courses with explicitly Christian content are not valid. I find myself wondering what these folks would have done in the day when reading the Bible was an expected part of school curriculums in the US and Canada. And I wonder if Islamic and Jewish students who attend madrasahs and yeshivas undergo the same scrutiny?