Update on Embattled Tajik Churches
In February we brought you a report about recent increased pressure on Tajik churches. The Tajik churches reports that, “Last Sunday a groups of officers of security services came to Sunday services in two different Tajik towns, they looked like normal people. They made video of the services, photos. There were children and teenagers there – which is prohibited by Tajik legislation (the involvement of children and teenagers until the age of 18 in religious events is prohibited, even for their parents). As a result – there are criminal investigations in both towns and the churches’ activity have been suspended until the court sentences. All the members are questioned every day.”
Please keep praying for this situation as the security services are continuing the investigation. At this point, three churches of one network have been forces to stop their activity – the official reason for the closures was cited as, “presence of children in Worship and Prayer meetings.” Officials continue to harass members constantly, summoning them for repeated questioning. One more serious reason for the closures is the investigation into proselytism. The officers are questioning why there are Tajik and Uzbek members in the churches. “Ethnically they are Muslims, so they should visit the a Muslim place of worship – what are they doing in church?” – they said.
“Obviously, the authorities plan to close the churches and make their activity completely prohibited,” a Tajik pastor shared with OD. Please keep praying for competent legal assistance for the church leadership and members, and that God would protect the safety of the Christian community and make a way for them to keep their ministries in legal status with official registration.
Father, we pray for Your church in Tajikistan as she struggles to be Your light to a people lost in spiritual darkness. We pray for the children and teens, that they might find ways to enter into Your worship and learn from Your Word. We pray that the churches might receive competent legal counsel and retain official legal status while still being free to proclaim the truth of the gospel from her pulpits. We pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in sowing the seeds of Your Word in the hard soil of Tajikistan, that there might be a mighty harvest for the glory of Christ. In the name of Jesus who is gathering His church from all nations and tribes. Amen.