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Non-Muslim Communities In Tajikistan Not Re-Registering

DUSHANBE -- Tajik officials say the re-registration of mosques, churches, and temples in the country is proceeding well despite a lack of participation by non-Muslim communities, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Sayidbek Mahmadulloev, the head of religious affairs in the Tajik Culture Ministry, told RFE/RL that just 10 non-Islamic communities have completed the re-registration procedure for their places of worship.

Mahmadulloev said that most of the religious communities in Tajikistan have no official license for the use of their land.

He said the Culture Ministry has asked the Land Committee to speed up the process of licensing the land used by religious communities.

Faridun Hodizoda, the head of the nongovernmental project "Religion and Dialogue," said that most religious leaders do not know how to proceed with re-registration.

The process was ordered by Tajik authorities this spring after ratification of a new law on religion in Tajikistan, which is considered to be very restrictive by many international rights organizations and Western countries.