The pastor of a church in Tajikistan has called for prayer after secret police raided a church worship service on Sunday 11 March 2018.*
Police took photographs and filmed the congregation. They also attempted to search church ministry offices, without the permission or presence of the church leaders. They discovered and confiscated a piece of Christian literature.
After the service, the police questioned the two church leaders at length before leaving. The pastors of the church have already been given two warnings and fined. If a third fine and warning are issued, the church faces the possibility of being shut down.
The import and distribution of religious literature has to be approved by authorities in Tajikistan and similar confiscations have led to Christians being imprisoned. In July 2017, Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov, a 42-year-old father of three, was jailed for three years after police confiscated “subversive” hymnbooks from his church.
The pastor of the church raided on 11 March writes: “Please pray for this situation: that the Lord gives us the opportunity to continue to freely testify about our faith in Jesus Christ; that we have the opportunity to have the necessary Christian literature for self-education and for testimony; that the Lord will not allow them to close our church.”
*We are not able to publish the pastor’s name, or the name and location of the church for security reasons.
Barnabas Fund project partners