Redolent of Romance
Uzbekistan’s history provides a parade of romantic historical names, places and people: the Silk Road, Samarkand, Persians, Turks, Mongols, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. This role call evokes images of flowing silk, sweet incense, fragrant spices, rich caravans, verdant oases, nomadic tribes, vibrant mosaics and domed mosques.
Inhabited since the 1st millennium BC, the Uzbek people have made many contributions to our world. Uzbek scientists, astronomers, poets, philosophers, artists and calligraphers flowered during the Golden Age of Islam. This Golden Age was followed by the Golden Horde of the Mongols. Then Tamerlane’s reign introduced a new Golden Age.
While the romantic images of Uzbekistan are true, the other side of the coin is horrendous murder and mayhem. When Alexander the Great conquered Persia, he claimed the region, but couldn’t control it, because the once-nomadic inhabitants and their Persian overlords continued to resist ferociously. The arrival of the Mongol Horde resulted in mass murder and destruction of such magnitude entire regions were razed and vast numbers of the previous population was supplanted.
However, the bloodiest conqueror by far was Tamerlane. His extreme brutality resulted in genocidal massacres in the major cities. As soon as Tamerlane died the area erupted in to further violence, splintering the nation into many tribal areas which were eventually conquered by Russia in the 19th century.
Uzbekistan declared independence on August 31, 1991 when the Soviet Union fell. The country is officially democratic and it’s constitution promises humane rights and “freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights”, but they have fallen short of those lofty ideals. According to Wikipedia, “non-governmental human rights watchdogs, such as IHF, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, as well as United States Department of State and Council of the European Union define Uzbekistan as “an authoritarian state with limited civil rights” and express profound concern about “wide-scale violation of virtually all basic human rights.”
Opening Hearts in an Land-Locked Country
Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world which are doubly-landlocked. This means you would have to cross two nations to reach a coastline from their country. It is also one of only two nations whose citizens must obtain an exit visa before they can leave the country.
After three millenniums of oppression, many Uzbek hearts are also land-locked. There seems to be no hope of a visa from their difficult lives. However, technology has opened a door and the people are hungry for the hope that only Jesus Christ can offer. Global Heart Ministries broadcasts our quality Christian programming via satellite right into Uzbek homes. We train home pastors to network among believers. The lives of these Uzbek believers are still hard, but the Gospel fills them with a Hope they never dreamed they’d find.
Help Reap the Harvest
You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.