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Decision on Jailed EE Staffer Expected Mid-October

maksetA pastor in Kazakhstan who was arrested last month might have to answer for his “crime” of sharing Jesus in the coming days.

Since September 5, Pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov has been sitting in a Kazakhstan jail as authorities decide whether to send him back to his native Uzbekistan, where he has been charged for practicing religion outside state regulation.

“Please continue to pray for Makset Djabbarbergenov,” urged a staff member at Evangelism Explosion International, which Makset has served for several years.

“He is in grave jeopardy and needs our prayers,” the EE staffer added. “The decision on his deportation will be made near October 15. Please pray.”

According to reports, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has determined Makset and his family to be refugees who would face prosecution in Uzbekistan because of their Christian faith. The Kazakh government, however, disagrees and has ruled against Makset.

Though Makset’s case now rests before the country’s highest court, which has yet to set a hearing date, prosecutors have reportedly moved ahead in response to Uzbekistan’s request to return him to face charges.

Notably, Uzbekistan is ranked No. 7 on the World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Published: October 11, 2012