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Tajikistan Suspends Two Christian Aid Groups

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Justice Ministry has suspended the activities of two aid groups because they were promoting Christianity, ministry official Davlat Sulaimonov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service.

The two groups, Hand of Help and Life of Youth, were teaching poor children in foreign languages.

Gulsunoy Maqsudova , the director of Hand of Help in Tajikistan's northern Sughd province, told RFE/RL that she was unaware of the decision by the Justice Ministry and that her group, active in Tajikistan since 2000, has never been in trouble with authorities.

Last year, the government banned six aid groups on the grounds that they promoted non-Islamic religions. One group was allowed to continue working after negotiating with authorities, but the others remain suspended.