The Bible Society of Uzbekistan (BSU) was registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan on September 30, 1993 and renewed its registration on October 15, 1998, after the new edition of the Law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” had been passed.
BSU is the only interdenominational religious Christian organization in the Republic of Uzbekistan whose goal is to assist the citizens of Uzbekistan with exercising their right to freedom of religion. It exists to promote peace, mutual tolerance, and respect among citizens of various religious affiliations as well as those with no religious affiliations. BSU cooperates with representatives of all Christian denominations, registered in Uzbekistan.
Distributing Bibles or individual books of the Bible, the source of the Christian doctrine, is BSU's principal activity. BSU also engages in cultural and educational activity under the existing legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Bible is undoubtedly the most famous and widespread “Holy Book” in the world, and one of immense influence on the secular culture of all countries in the world. Academician D.S. Likhachev referred to the Bible as “The Cultural Code”, because, like the genetic code, it contains the beginnings inherited from our ancestors, which had shaped many cultural traits of the past millennia, the patterns of life and the lifestyles of the majority of the humankind. The Bible touches national conscience to highlight the suffering and the hopes, common for different nations of the world, and by doing so it opposes national egoism and alienation.
Biblical appeals to peacemaking, charity and non-violence are extremely relevant in the modern world with its global issues. When social and moral ideals, hope and natural belief in a better future collapse, God's principles of personal worth and loving one's neighbor play an increasingly important part in shaping the moral and ethical values of the present-day civilized society.
Bibles in 22 different world languages are currently available from the Bible Society of Uzbekistan.
The activity of a Bible Society (then called a “Bible Depot”) in Turkestan was first mentioned in the early 80-s of the XIX century. A storehouse, accepting a multitude of requests for the Holy Scriptures in 300 different world languages, was founded in Tashkent. From the report of the military governor Major-general Gordekov to the office of the Governor of Turkestan, dated April 30, 1885, “...In spite of the fact that traveling is only possible by camels and that the trip there takes three months, even in the best seasons, the storehouse was supplied with the Holy Scriptures and its operation is off to a successful start.”
In April, 1918 the Depot was shut down by the Soviet authorities.
The constituent assembly for the Bible Society of Uzbekistan was convened on November 30, 1992. The assembly's resolution was to found a public interdenominational religious organization, whose mission would be to provide for the religious needs of Christians in Uzbekistan as well as for the cultural and educational needs of our society in general.
The facts that the Bible Society of Uzbekistan was founded and has been operating productively for 20 years serve as evidence of dedication and support of our state government to promote freedom of religion and tolerance, as stipulated in the Constitution of Uzbekistan.
During the years of the Bible Society's operation the Committee on Religious Affairs has granted permission to import ecclesiastical literature 56 times, thus allowing to bring about 330 thousand individual book copies into the country. The ecclesiastical literature is distributed among churches, various associations, seminaries and monasteries.
As stipulated in its Charter, the Bible Society of Uzbekistan has been closely cooperating with Christian churches and associations, registered in Uzbekistan, and keeping in touch with the national Bible Societies of other countries.