Profile of Persecution
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.
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.
Tajikistan Photo Gallery
Stories from Tajikistan
December 18, 2019
On Wednesday, December 17, at 10 am, imprisoned Tajikistan pastor Bahrom Kholmatov was freed—unexpectedly released three months early from a prison term set to end in March 2020. The Central Asian pastor says that while he was jailed, he felt the thousands of prayers for him. Read More
December 6, 2018
For millions of believers, the celebration of Jesus entering the world must be a risk-laden secret Christmas. They know that there is a war on Christmas—and what that war really looks like. Read More
August 22, 2018
Drug trafficking was his life in Central Asia–until a package in the mail changed the trajectory of Viktor's life and the eternities of thousands of others. Read More