|World Watch List Rank||33|
|World Watch List Score||66/100|
|Leader||President Emomali Rahmon|
|Population||9,475,000 | 66,300 Christians|
|WWL Rank in 2020||31|
|Persecution Level||Very High Persecution|
In Tajikistan, the government puts heavy pressure on all “deviating” religious groups by tightening and strictly enforcing existing laws. All religious activities must be approved by the government, and it is common for churches to be raided by authorities. Church leaders and Christians can be detained if they are found to have any Christian materials that aren’t government-approved.
The government of Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, is primarily concerned with power and holding onto control, but the surrounding society is heavily Islamic. The Tajik ethnic identity is directly tied to Islam. Thus, Christians who have converted from Islam bear the brunt of persecution at the hands of both the state and from family, friends and community.
WHAT CHANGED THIS YEAR?
Although Tajikistan fell two rankings from last year’s World Watch List, persecution and pressure actually rose slightly. Violence is still very low, but pressure from every sphere of life increased just a bit. Being a Christian in Tajikistan continues to be difficult and dangerous, particularly for churches trying to show the gospel and make disciples
HOW WE HELP
Open Doors provides immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are imprisoned, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ. Open Doors also strengthens the persecuted church in Central Asia primarily through literature distribution, prayer support, training for Christians, socio-economic aid and persecution preparedness seminars.
PRAY FOR TAJIKISTAN
Pray for the safety and protection of pastors and church leaders in Tajikistan, especially those who are monitored and detained by the government.
Pray for converts to Christianity from Islam who live in areas where conversion means severe pressure from family and communities. Pray they would sense they are part of a global community of believers.
Pray for the government of Tajikistan, that their hearts would be softened toward Christians and other religious minorities.