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Pastor Batyr - Photo: Release International www.releaseinternational.org
Pastor Batyr
Photo: Release International

Throughout Central Asia, Christians are facing worship bans, arrest and torture as Islamic nationalism gains ground. In late August, we reported on a group arrested in Tajikistan for distributing Christian literature (read the report). Similar incidents are happening regularly in other neighbouring Central Asian countries, according to a recent report from VOMC's partner ministry, Release International.

A recent survey revealed that 263 people had been punished in Kazakhstan during 2017 for hosting religious meetings, offering religious literature, or other "religious crimes." Most of those prosecuted were Protestant Christians. The clampdown continued into 2018 with almost 80 prosecutions within the first six months.

Churches in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan face regular harassment from authorities for meeting without a permit, while those same authorities refuse to issue the necessary permits. In Kazakhstan, Christians are perceived as a threat to the state. Homes and church buildings are regularly searched. Even praying together can be deemed illegal.

Throughout the region, Christians from Muslim backgrounds are facing the worst persecution. One church leader, Pastor Batyr, recounts: "If a Muslim decides to follow Christ, then he is considered to be a traitor -- a traitor to our people, our culture and our nation. All former Muslims who believe in Christ are secret and underground. They can never be officially recognized."

Release International has just released a 12-minute video report on the situation in Central Asia. To view this fascinating report, click here.

Remember the Christian workers throughout Central Asia who are spreading the Good News of the Gospel. Pray for deliverance on behalf of those imprisoned for their faith; that, in the meanwhile, God will mightily use their ministry to reach fellow prisoners and guards. May the Lord give His people throughout the region a new vision for how they can best reach out to those around them with His transforming love.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC has come alongside project partners to offer an English camp as an opportunity for evangelism and outreach among youth and young adults. Camp participants are invited to embrace the Good News of the Gospel through the platform of the English Camps.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

Country Information

Population
8,604,882 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Tajik (84.4), Uzbek (11.9), Other (3.7)

Religion (%)
Muslim (96.7), Christian (1.6), unaffiliated (1.5)

Leader
President Emomali Rahmon

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Tajikistan

Pray God will provide for the physical needs of the people of Tajikistan.

Pray freedom of religion will be respected by the government.

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Tajikistan News

  • Fines for Bible Translation
    Tajik Bible

    Over the past six months, the leaders of four different churches in Tajikistan have received huge fines because they were part of a plan to create a new Tajik translation of the Bible. According to some Tajik Christians, the current translations available in their language use archaic words and some

    ...
  • Pastor Released Early
    Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov and his wife - Photo: World Watch Monitor
    Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov and
    his wife (undated image).
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    In April 2017, Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov was arrested and charged with "singing extremist songs in church and so inciting religious hatred." In July of that year, he had been sentenced to three years in prison (read mo

    ...
  • Clampdown on Christianity
    Pastor Batyr - Photo: Release International www.releaseinternational.org
    Pastor Batyr
    Photo: Release International

    Throughout Central Asia, Christians are facing worship bans, arrest and torture as Islamic nationalism gains ground. In late August, we reported on a group arrested in Tajikistan for distributing Christian literature (read the report). Similar incidents ar

    ...
  • Arrested and Fined for Evangelism
    Pamir Mountains - Photo: Wikipedia / FrancisTyers
    Photo: Wikipedia / FrancisTyers

    Ten Christians were arrested by security police in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan on August 7th. The group was distributing Christian literature in Russian, Tajik and various local languages when they were detained. According to a ministry partner of Release Intern

    ...