A network of churches in Tajikistan is under close surveillance. Their crime? Children and adolescents under the age of 18 attend their religious services.
AIn Tajikistan, it is illegal for minors to participate in religious activities, including under the authority and supervision of their parents. Several security officers attended services on Sunday in two cities to film and take photos of the evidence. As a result, an investigation was opened against the church and the Christians. Kristin Wright, Director at Open doors usa testifies thus:
"This is a truly worrying situation for Christians, not only those in this church, but for Christians in churches across Tajikistan, where these harsh regulations prohibit even parents from bringing their children to church and from taking their children to church. initiate them into the Gospel. "
Authorities are reportedly even considering shutting down churches and making the activity completely banned.
Tajikistan is overwhelmingly Muslim. 98% of the population is Muslim. But for a Tajik, Islam is more than a religion, it is an ethnic identity. This is how, according to Kristin Wright, the officers question the presence of Tajiks and Uzbeks in a church.
“Ethnically, these individuals are Muslims, so what are they doing at a religious service? "
Because in Tajikistan, one does not change religion as easily as that, and it is for this reason that this country is in 35th position of theOpen Doors Persecution Index. And the persecution of Tajik Christians does not end government-wide. It interferes in everyday life, under the pressure of a very severe Islamic extremism.
However, the Church is still present in Tajikistan, and God continues to support them.
“We encourage people to pray for freedom of faith in Tajikistan and for the persecuted Church. It would be wonderful if Christians could freely worship, freely share the gospel, and of course, bring their children to church. We think this right is very basic. "
seen on The Christian Observer
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