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Tajikistan Facts

Score: 65 / 100
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Type: Dictatorial Paranoia
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 9,107,000
Christians: 61,700
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Emomali Rahmon

Profile of Persecution

Violence 14%
Church Life 77%
National Life 73%
Community Life 70%
Family Life 71%
Private Life 82%

Restrictions and raids

In Tajikistan, the country’s central government imposes restrictive legislation while local authorities and police monitor religious meetings, detain believers, raid church meetings and confiscate religious materials. The government places heavy pressure on all “deviating” groups, including Christians. By tightening and strictly enforcing existing laws, the government puts additional pressure on the Christian minority.

Another source of Christian persecution comes from the Muslim community that objects to Christians evangelizing among Muslims.

How Christians are suffering

The government puts heavy pressure on all “deviating” groups. Indigenous Christians with a Muslim background bear the brunt of persecution both at the hands of the state and from family, friends and community. Russian Orthodox churches experience the least problems from the government because they do not usually attempt to make contact with the Tajik population. The youth law in particular has left Christians—and other affected religious minorities—in legal limbo as it’s not clear what is still allowed.

Examples

In June 2018, a young convert explained the Christian faith to his mother, and his Muslim relatives heard about it. The convert’s elder brother beat him severely, demanding that he return to their native religion and used a hot iron to burn his hands. The convert fled and is no longer safe at his family home (source: OD Research).

In August 2018, a group of nine Christians in the south of Tajikistan were arrested. Police took away documents and cell-phones and questioned them harshly. (Source: OD Research)

Pray for Tajikistan

  • Pray for bold faith for Christians who are under surveillance by authorities and are beaten and pressured to renounce their faith.
  • Pray for a full revision of the 2009 Religion Law—and for the removal of articles requiring state permission for any exercise of Freedom of Religion or Belief.
  • Pray for church leaders who are faced with the stress and anxiety of raids and arrests. Ask God to give them courage, wisdom and discernment as they serve the church.
  • Pray for citizens to receive a fair trial with legal representation in court cases—especially for those who are discriminated against for their religious beliefs.
  • Pray that governmental pressure would lessen and the country would become more open to Christianity.

Stories from Tajikistan

December 6, 2018

5 Countries Where Christmas Is a Crime

For millions of believers, the celebration of Jesus entering the world must be a risk-laden secret Christmas. They know that there…

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August 22, 2018

He Used to Traffic Heroin in Central Asia, Now He Smuggles Bibles

Drug trafficking was his life in Central Asia–until a package in the mail changed the trajectory of Viktor's life and…

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August 12, 2018

7 Reasons Why Hotbeds of Persecution Are Growing in Central Asia

What's happening to Christian believers in today's Central Asia republics? And what do you need to know to pray with empathy…

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