Eldos, 26, was listening to worship music in his brother’s home, where he was house sitting, when three radical Muslims forced their way inside and demanded that he recite the Islamic confession of faith. When he refused, the men beat him severely, knocking out some of his teeth, breaking his jaw, damaging his left eye, fracturing his skull and leaving him with a concussion. The men then forced Eldos outside to wash the blood off and told him to stay in bed until the next morning. Then, they said, he must leave for good.
In Kyrgyzstan, a majority Muslim nation, Christians are often persecuted by their family members and neighbours. While some churches worship openly, being a Christian is difficult because of the Islamic culture. Believers often have trouble getting jobs and purchasing goods.
A VOM contact visited Eldos in the hospital and learned that doctors had been slow to treat him because of his Christian faith. And police reportedly wanted to charge the attackers with a misdemeanour instead of a religious hate crime. The attackers’ relatives have pressured Eldos’s family to drop the charges, even offering them money. “His Kyrgyz brothers and sisters, especially brothers, took turns guarding him in the hospital because the relatives of those guys who beat him still tried to threaten him because they want this case out of the police’s hands,” a VOM worker said. “Even his parents have been threatened.”
VOM has covered Eldos’s medical expenses.
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