New Religion law threatens further persecution – Tajisktan

In a country that already experiences religious persecution, Tajikistan’s President has signed an oppressive new Religion Law that many fear will further increase discrimination of all faiths in the country. Some government officials feel that the new law violates Article 26 of the current Tajik Constitution, which guarantees freedom to practice any faith, and encroaches upon the country’s international human rights obligations by restricting the rights of Christians, Muslims and adherents of other faiths. The law seeks to impose state censorship on religious literature and restrictions and control on religious education; however the Deputy Culture Minister claims, “There are no restrictions on religious activity in the new Law.” The proposed law has been widely criticized, including by the UN Special Reporter on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. • Pray for guidance and wisdom for the authorities in Tajikistan, that they will see the potentially damaging consequences of the new law and that they will have the courage to propose amendments that uphold human rights and freedom of religion. • Pray for Christians in Tajikistan, that they will be salt and light in their society and will continue to work for peace, justice and freedom for all.

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