A 25-year-old believer from a Muslim background from Kyrgyzstan has been beaten for refusing to deny his faith in Jesus.
Eldos Satar Uluu was home alone when three men broke into his house. "They began hitting him and kicking him until he fell on the floor. They shouted at him that he is a ‘kafir’ (infidel), and that he had betrayed Islam. Then they kicked his head while on the floor, breaking several of his front teeth and his jaw-bone," a neighbour has said.
"When the attackers realised Eldos was half-conscious and could not move, they put him on a table and washed the blood off his face. They threatened that they would come back to kill him if he had not left the village by the morning."
According to the neighbour, Eldos and his family are well-known as Christians, and ‘some in the village do not like this’.
Thankfully Eldos survived the attack, but it will take him time to recover from his injuries. The neighbour said, “He will not be able to speak or move his jaw or teeth as his gums were sown together. He will be in this condition for at least a month and a half. He is fed through a tube at the moment. He will be able to chew food only after several months, doctors said."
Threats continue in hospital
Shockingly, one of the attackers came to the hospital where Eldos was being treated to try and persuade Eldos and his family to drop their complaint to the authorities about the attack. A relative said Eldos ‘was threatened with death if he did not do this’. When they refused, the attacker said, "Think about your future in the village. You will have to live with us in the same village."
It was only after the threats in hospital that the police took two of the attackers into custody. They are meant to be under house arrest, but the police do not appear to be enforcing this. Police have claimed to local media that the attack was hooliganism as Eldos was allegedly listening to loud music, and that the attack ‘did not happen for religious reasons’. Eldos’ relatives are strongly disputing this, pointing out that none of the three attackers lived nearby.
Eldos’ lawyer Zhanar Askar Kyzy told Forum 18, "The case is at a standstill. The law-enforcement agencies are not investigating the case more. Eldos is in hospital, and the attackers are in freedom."
'I am still alive because of prayers'
As well as his physical injuries, Eldos has begun to have panic attacks following his beating and the ongoing threats against him. His family are also extremely distressed. Eldos’ sister, who was six months pregnant, had a miscarriage due to the shock and stress.
Please pray for Eldos and his family. Eldos has said, “I am still alive because of prayers of many people, I can feel it.” Please pray:
- For complete healing for Eldos
- For comfort for him and his family, especially his sister
- For protection from further attacks and threats
- That God will change the hearts of Eldos’ attackers and draw them to Himself
- That the police and those in the legal system will act justly in this case, and not allow religious persecution to go on with impunity.
Persecution in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is not on the World Watch List this year, but Christians here still face persecution. As in many other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan has a special government body to supervise (and restrict) religion – the State Commission for Religious Affairs (SCRA). Religious groups must register with the SCRA every year, and the SCRA must approve all religious literature and materials before they can be produced, imported or distributed. In 2009 Kyrgyzstan introduced a law stating that a church must have at least 200 members to register; very few churches in the country have this many members. No religious activities beyond state-run and state-controlled institutions are allowed.
Despite all these restrictions, Christians in Kyrgyzstan experience more freedom than those in other Central Asian countries. The laws may be restrictive, but congregations who don’t manage to register can often function as house churches. They know their meetings may be stopped, but this doesn’t happen too often.
Open Doors provides immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are placed in prison, excluded them from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ. We also strengthen the persecuted church in Central Asia through literature distribution, training, and projects to help believers start small businesses. Give to support persecuted believers in Central Asia.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Eldos is 19. We have since learned that he was born in August 1993, therefore his correct age is 25.