By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
TOSHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (Worthy News)– Christians in Uzbekistan are being blocked from burying their dead in state-owned cemeteries as secular officials bend to pressures from Islamic religious leaders, according to Barnabas Aid.
Although these cemeteries are state property, if they happen to be managed by a local mosque whose imam decides to act in accordance with strict sharia law — despite Uzbekistan's status as a secular state — no Christian burials will be held in them.
But when Protestant Christians in Karakalpakstan asked for their own burial plots, the only response they received was to lose their official registered status.
Burial rites are important in Central Asian culture; families of those denied these rights are often treated as social pariahs by the rest of the community. And unfortunately, Russian Orthodox graveyards aren't considered suitable for use by ethnic Uzbeks and Karakalpaks who regard them as the property of a foreign community.
Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.