TAJIKISTAN (Voice of the Martyrs) — [O]n April 10, 2017, agents raided the Sonmin Sonbogym Church and arrested Bakhrom. Citing as evidence the Christian songs found on his computer and the Josh McDowell book “More Than a Carpenter” found among his possessions, authorities sentenced Pastor Bakhrom to three years in prison for his “extremist” views. …
Gulnora and Bakhrom were the first in their respective families to leave Islam and place their faith in Christ. Their families did not understand why they chose to follow Jesus, and Bakhrom’s arrest seemed further proof that the couple was doing something wrong. With no support from extended family, Gulnora had become the sole provider for their three teenage children.
Thankfully, she did receive support from some of the few thousand believers in Tajikistan. When her husband was moved to a prison eight hours away and health problems prevented her from visiting more than once every couple of months, a team of believers from all over Tajikistan visited Bakhrom regularly to provide food and encouragement.
God provided Gulnora herself with support from one of the few Christian women in the country who could truly empathize – Tamara Besarab. Tamara’s late husband, also a pastor, had been shot and killed in their home in 2004 while Tamara was in an adjacent room.