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Churches under threat in Tajikistan

ICC Note

The authorities of Tajikistan are enacting legislation that restricts freedom of religion in the country. Christians are affected by the new legislation.

By Anne Thomas

12/25/2008 Tajikistan (Christian Today)-A new draft law in Tajikistan is threatening to rob churches and mosques of their legal status in 2009.

If approved, draft legislation initiated by President Emomali Rahmon would extend state control over the country’s churches and mosques by requiring them to re-register as a “religious organisation” or “religious community” under more stringent conditions, according to Forum 18 news service.

In order to register as a religious organisation, 10 citizens would need to obtain a certificate from local authorities confirming that adherents of the faith have lived in the area for at least 10 years.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert said the draft law “falls short of internationally accepted standards regarding freedom of religion and belief”.

“In light of so many similar laws being proposed across Central Asia in recent months, it is vital that the international community and bodies such as the OSCE act decisively and speak out against this negative trend.”

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