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TAJIKISTAN: Church Leaders Fined for Translating the Bible

TAJIKISTAN: Church Leaders Fined for Translating the Bible

Four churches in Tajikistan have been fined for their participation in a Bible translation project.

Between August 2019 and January 2020, the committee for religious affairs fined church leaders the equivalent of between $1,100 and $1,800. An average monthly salary in Tajikistan is the equivalent of about $250. “They were fined for arranging a translation of the Bible into modern language,” a local Christian said.

Older translations include archaic words and some unclear passages. Officials pressure churches with fines and other punishment because they don’t want Tajik churches, which are viewed as foreign elements, in the country. “They want to make us weary and stop,” the Christian said.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for those who were fined; pray the Lord will make a way to allow their work to continue unhindered.
  • Commit to the Lord all believers in Tajikistan who have grown weary under the relentless oppression. Pray for courage and faithfulness.
  • Thank the Lord that in spite of man’s opposition, His Word continues to go forth.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

TAJIKISTAN: Fines for Bible Translation

TAJIKISTAN: Fines for Bible Translation

Over the past six months, the leaders of four different churches in Tajikistan have received huge fines because they were part of a plan to create a new Tajik translation of the Bible.

According to some Tajik Christians, the current translations available in their language use archaic words and sometimes the translation is unclear. In response to the need, these churches arranged to have a new translation made through Linguatec, a translation company.

According to Linguatec representatives, they were visited by the State Committee for Religious Affairs (SCRA) and questioned about the work they were doing. The state committee then issued a warning that the translators must receive permission before translating any religious texts. After assuring the committee of their willingness to abide by all regulations in the future, no penalties were levied. For the churches, however, the SCRA was not as tolerant. Each of the four churches was fined between $1,200 and $1,800, amounts equivalent to the combined average monthly salaries of five to eight Tajik labourers.

In reference to the situation, one local Christian explains: “The authorities do not want Tajik churches, which is why they pressure them with fines and other punishments. They want to make us weary and stop.” Christianity is considered a “foreign element” in this predominantly Muslim nation.

Source: Forum 18

  • Pray God’s wisdom will be granted to the Christian leaders as they deal with challenges imposed on them by governmental agencies.
  • Pray God’s financial provision will be made available to the churches that have been penalised.
  • Pray those who oppose the work of God will be enlightened to the truth of His Word and respond.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

TAJIKISTAN: Christians Arrested and Fined

TAJIKISTAN: Christians Arrested and Fined

Ten Christians were arrested by the security police in Tajikistan on 7 August. The group had gone to the Pamirs mountain area to share the Gospel and hand out Christian literature in Russian, Tajik and other local languages.

According to a partner of Release International, the group were later released but were fined $1,000 by a court. As they had no money a Tajik church paid the fine.

Tajikistan is the poorest former Soviet republic, partly because of its landlocked geography, located between China, Russia and Iran. General corruption and the opium trade compound its difficulties. Most Tajiks are Sunni Muslim

Sources: Release International, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Please pray for Christians in Tajikistan as they seek to share God’s love in a hostile environment.
  • Pray for the believers who were arrested, that they would continue to live out 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
  • Pray for those who had an opportunity to hear the Gospel and receive His word. Pray the Lord will bear much fruit.
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CHINA: House Church Receives Large Fine

CHINA: House Church Receives Large Fine

Shi Xinping, leader of a house church in Zongdian, Henan Province, was fined 50,000 yuan, or about $9,940, by the Regional Religious Affairs Committee for organising illegal activities without reporting them to the Department of Religious Affairs.

His church, the Hanzhuang Village house church, received three government notices in one week. The first warned of possible penalties, the second warned of a ban on the church and the third threatened more penalties. Members of the 200-member church, which has been in existence for more than 10 years, had refused to join the state-sanctioned Three-Self Church.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord to give the church leaders wisdom when dealing with the authorities.
  • Pray the Lord will provide them with opportunities to continue to worship together.
  • Pray for the local authorities, that many will receive the Gospel as a result of the witness of these believers and the work of the Holy Spirit.
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CHINA: Increased Pressure on House Church Gatherings

CHINA: Increased Pressure on House Church Gatherings

According to Christians in China’s central Henan province, the local public security bureaus and religious affairs bureaus have started targeting house church members with threats and fines since early February.

A new initiative in Nanyang, Henan, explicitly forbids any kind of religious gatherings in people’s homes. Anyone caught attending or hosting meetings outside of a registered religious venue will be subject to a fine of 30,000 yuan ($6,100 AUD). All Christians in the area are ordered to join an officially registered church.

China’s current religious policy dictates that only Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestant Christianity, and Catholicism — which are officially recognised by the state — are legal for citizens to participate in, and they may only do so in churches, mosques, or temples operated by the government. The official Chinese Protestant church is known as the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, named for its principles of self-governance (no recognition of religious authorities from outside China), self-support (no financial ties to foreign organisations), and self-propagation (no influence from foreign missionaries).

Because most of these churches are instructed to teach loyalty to the Communist Party and the Chinese State and often teach propaganda over the actual tenets of these faiths, many faithful religious adherents choose to meet outside of the official religious system, in groups known as house churches or underground churches.

Communist Party officials are not allowed to believe in any religion, nor are children, students, or members of the Chinese military. In Shandong province, government agencies are investigating Communist Party members to ensure that they are not religious.

Source: China Aid

  • Praise God for the faithfulness of Chinese believers, pray they will not be tempted to give up meeting with one another but continue to encourage each another in the faith.
  • Pray the Lord will continue to spread the Gospel throughout China, even the to the highest state authorities.
  • Pray the Gospel will be preached faithfully in all churches across China.

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