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.

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O God most High, ruler of the nations we plead for the progress of the Gospel in Tajikistan and especially among the so many who do not know you or your Son. Enlighten their darkened minds with the truth and may your Spirit be poured out to the salvation of many. Bring genuine repentance and faith in Christ. Give wisdom and perseverance to Christian leaders. Teach them to be faithful. We pray for your providential hand to provide financial help at this time. Thank you for each one of our brothers and sisters and their witness to you.