Accessibility links

Breaking News

New Synagogue Opens In Dushanbe

The house that was converted into a synagogue in Dushanbe
DUSHANBE -- Dushanbe's only synagogue has been officially opened in the central part of the Tajik capital, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Rabbi Mikhail Abdurahmonov said Tajikistan's Jewish community thanks its "friends in Tajikistan who offered them such a palace."

The house that was converted into the synagogue was donated by a relative of President Emomali Rahmon.

The previous synagogue in Dushanbe was demolished by officials last year to make room for the huge compound surrounding a new presidential palace.

Tajik Deputy Culture Minister Mavlon Mukhtorov said the opening of the synagogue is a positive development, though he noted that it has not yet been officially registered.

Habibullo Azamkhonov, the imam of Dushanbe's nearby Sari Osiyo Mosque, who was at the ceremony, said the restoration of the synagogue is an "act of unity, freedom, peace, and equality."

U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Tracey Ann Jacobson said opening the synagogue will improve tourism and business in Tajikistan.

Some 50 foreign guests from the United States, Israel, and other countries attended the event. There are estimated to be a few hundred Jews in Dushanbe.