New religion law severely restricts diversity

By April 7, 2009

Tajikistan (MNN) — According to Forum 18 News, Tajikistan Protestants have until the end of April to leave their church building.

Originally, members of the Grace Sunmin Church in Tajikistan's capital city were given 10 days to leave the property; authorities said that the eviction deadline was moved to avoid disrupting Easter services. This comes as the latest in Tajikistan's religious "crack-downs."

Authorities claimed that the building wasn't owned by Protestant church members and that a "ridiculous amount" of money was offered as compensation. Believers declined and strongly dispute these statements.

Despite strong protests from religious communities and international organizations, Tajikistan's new religious law recently came into effect. The law severely restricts religious activity; only religions approved by the government are allowed to practice their faith. Education and  religious activities for children are restricted and limited, and state censorship is imposed on all religious literature.

State officials have said that protests are pointless and that those who agree with international organizations support "alien ideas." Pray for God to lift the religious restrictions in Tajikistan.

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