Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov, who was detained by police in April 2017, was sentenced in July to three years in prison. The 42-year-old pastor also known as Bakhrom Holmatov, was arrested on April 10 after KNB officers raided the Sonmin Sonbogym [Good News of Grace] Protestant Church, harassing and beating church members in addition to arresting the pastor. During the raid, the officers confiscated items from the church, including the pastor’s computer and the book “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell.
Bakhrom’s arrest was only the latest event in harassment that has been ongoing since February. A church that he pastored in Sughd was raided in early February. Officers of the State Committee for Religious Affairs along with other law enforcement agencies interrupted the church, beat church members, insulted and swore at them. They demanded that the believers renounce their faith.