Tajikistan

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Tajikistan

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PRAYER ITEMS:
  • Pray for bold faith for Christians who are under surveillance by authorities and are beaten and pressured to renounce their faith.
  • 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.
  • God’s Word reminds us to intercede on behalf of those in governmental authority who are in need of His wisdom to govern righteously (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Pray, therefore, that governmental pressure would lessen and the country would become more open to Christianity.
  • Pray also for other followers of Christ who have been imprisoned because of their faith and ministry.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE NATION:

Over the last 10 years, most churches in Tajikistan have had their registration revoked and they now meet in secrecy. Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet nations. Due to the widespread poverty that has plagued the country, many pastors and church leaders are leaving Tajikistan to work in Russia in order to support their families. Most of the population is younger than 30. Children under 10 years are not allowed to attend religious meetings.

MAJOR RELIGIONS:

Nearly 96% of the population is Muslim.

PERSECUTION TYPE:

Muslim Oppression: Christian converts from Islam are persecuted by family members, and the government harasses unregistered churches.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN THIS NATION:

Churches in Tajikistan face regular harassment from authorities for meeting without a permit, while those same authorities refuse to issue the necessary permits. For churches that are allowed to meet, their sermons that are preached on the pulpits must be approved and secret police monitor their religious meetings. It is common in Tajikistan for the local authorities and the police to raid church meetings, confiscate religious materials, and to beat, abuse and detain believers. New Christian Converts receive the harshest treatment. In 2019, more than 5,000 Christian calendars with Bible verses were confiscated and burned by government officials. Earlier on in 2017, Pastor Bakhrom Holmatov who was found with a copy of Josh McDowell’s Christian book “More Than a Carpenter” was arrested for possessing “extremist literature.”

ACCESS TO BIBLES:

Bibles are available only in select cities. Most people cannot access or afford a Bible.

SOURCES: