How many Christians are there in Tajikistan?
There are 9.3 million people living in Tajikistan, and of them, just over 70,000 are Christians. They make up 0.8 per cent of the population.
Why are Christians persecuted in Tajikistan?
Sunni Islam is the official religion of Tajikistan, and Islam is seen as part of the Tajik identity. Leaving Islam is seen as a betrayal.
Protestant churches are seen as alien sects that aim to undermine the current political system. All Christian activity is monitored by the government.
What's life like for Christians in Tajikistan?
Christians who share their faith, and converts from Islam, face constant scrutiny. Society believes that to be Tajik is to be Muslim, so becoming a Christian brings shame on the family. The small number of believers from Muslim backgrounds often hide their faith for fear of punishment. Church groups must be registered and sermons must be approved. Those under 18 are forbidden from taking part in religious activities: summer camps have been raided.
In April 2017, Pastor Holmatov Bahrom was arrested and imprisoned for three years on false accusations of 'singing extremist songs in church and so inciting religious hatred'. Thankfully, after much prayer, Pastor Bahrom was released on 18 December 2019! But his case shows that Tajik Christians are unlikely to receive favour or justice from the authorities – please pray that this will no longer be the case.
Bahrom, released from prison
How can I help Christians in Tajikistan
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Tajikistan. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors strengthens persecuted Christians in Central Asia with Christian literature, training, medical care, relief aid and socio-economic development projects.
Lord Jesus, thank You that the identity of our church family in Tajikistan lies in You. Please surround them with Your love and fill them with Your peace. Help believers to find creative ways to share the gospel with younger generations.