Accessibility links

Breaking News

Nine Religious Groups In Tajikistan Declared Illegal

Nine religious groups in Tajikistan failed to file documents for reregistration by the January 1 deadline and have been declared illegal, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Saidbek Mahmadulloev, of the Tajik Culture Ministry's Department for Religions, told RFE/RL that the new law on religions adopted in March 2009 required all religious groups and organizations to reregister by the beginning of 2010.

The Jewish congregation in Dushanbe, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon church), several Baptist churches, and the International Preaching House failed to file papers by January 1.

Mikhail Abdurahmonov, the rabbi of the Dushanbe synagogue, told RFE/RL that his congregation was unable to reregister because the new synagogue still lacks an official address.

Dushanbe authorities demolished the building that housed the city's old synagogue in 2008.

Hasan Assadullozoda, President Emomali Rahmon's brother-in-law who is also the head of Orion Bank, offered the small Jewish congregation his large house as a new synagogue after the old one's destruction.

Abdurahmonov said the new synagogue cannot be legally registered because the building is still owned by Assadullozoda.

There were 81 non-Muslim religious groups registered in Tajikistan before the new law was adopted and all of them except for the nine were able to reregister by January 1.

According to official statistics, there were 247 grand mosques and 2,969 daily-prayer mosques registered in Tajikistan by January 1.