New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Uzbeks find wreckage on return to Kyrgyzstan

HUMANITARIAN aid is beginning to reach the shattered communities of southern Kyrgyzstan, after ethnic clashes forced 100,000 Uzbeks from their homes, and left hundreds dead (News, 18 June).

A global alliance of church development agencies, ACT Alliance, which includes Christian Aid, has started to hand out aid. It has raised $400,000 so far, but is appealing for a further $800,000. ACT members on the ground have criticised the way the government is distributing aid in the region. They say it is poorly co-ordinated, and not impartial.

Violence was first sparked two weeks ago, when there were clashes in the southern city of Osh, where Uzbek areas were razed to the ground. Survivors have told of gangs roaming areas, raping and killing.

The interim government has blamed supporters of the ousted president, Kur­manbek Bakiyev, for starting the violence in an attempt to destabilise the country, but the real cause is still far from clear. The violent clashes have threatened stability across the whole region.

It is feared that the real death toll could be 2000, as many of those killed were buried almost immediately, in the traditional way.

The Barnabas Trust, an aid agency that supports persecuted Christians, said that Christian pastors in the region were now being threatened with violence for helping Uzbeks.

Kyrgyzstan has a majority-Muslim pop­ulation of about 85 per cent. Christians make up fewer than ten per cent. Most are converts from Islam, and come from both the majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbek pop­ulations.

Kyrgyzstan had reasonable religious free­dom until a repressive Religious Law was passed last year. The interim government had pledged to reform this.

Job of the week

General Secretary

UK

Modern Church Deeper understanding of Christian faith Modern Church encourages open, respectful debate and discussion of matters relating to Christian faith. Originally a Church of England society, ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

The runaway nun of the Reformation

The runaway nun of the Reformation

In a talk to be broadcast next week on Radio 3, Charlotte Woodford explores the life of Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

Parliamentarians’ beliefs deserve a fair hearing

Nick Spencer examines why they are nervous of talking about faith  Read More

Sun 30 Apr 17 @ 10:56
"I want to be a bishop for absolutely everybody, [including] those who might have wished for another candidate” https://t.co/czVzIrb7i9

Sun 30 Apr 17 @ 9:29
Wresting politics from the politicians This week's @ChurchTimes leader column https://t.co/9ZRTjyF2TG