Tajikistan (MNN) — Pressure continues to build on Christians in Tajikistan.

In the latest encounter, officials burned more than 5,000 Christian calendars. They also told parents not to bring kids under 10 years old to “religious meetings” – a broad category that could include church services. More details here.

Dr. David Curry of Open Doors USA tells us, “The incident you’re referring to…that’s a signal to us that Tajikistan may be going in a more radical direction. Certainly, we’ve seen a lot of that.

“A lot of really difficult things [are] happening in Central Asia, and Tajikistan is – in that way – falling in line with this radical agenda.”

Tajikistan persecution

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(Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA)

Tajikistan sits at number 29 on Open Doors’ World Watch List. The list describes 50 countries where it’s extremely difficult or nearly impossible to live out the Christian faith. In Tajikistan, pressure comes mostly from the government, but also the wider Muslim society.

“Awareness is key; that’s why we’re talking here, obviously, because people don’t know a lot of the things that are happening in Tajikistan,” Curry says.

“They’re not aware of the limitations on Christians. They don’t know that governments are using laws to make sure that Christians can’t share their faith with their children.”

Along with the incident described earlier, Tajik Christians spoke with Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) about the oppression and uncertainty they encounter on a daily basis. Read the full article here.

How to help Christians

On its website, Open Doors USA describes how persecution is escalating throughout Central Asia. Along with meeting the immediate needs of persecuted Christians, Open Doors continues to support the local church in Tajikistan and other Central Asian nations.

No matter where you live, Curry says, there are a couple of easy ways you can help persecuted Christians in Tajikstan.

“Share these these powerful stories on social media so that the Christian Church wakes up… to the things that are going on, and then be people of prayer.”

Pray that governmental pressure would lessen and Tajikistan would become more open to Christianity. Pray for church leaders who are faced with the stress and anxiety of raids and arrests. Ask God to give them courage, wisdom and discernment as they serve the Body of Christ.

Give to meet the needs of persecuted Tajik Christians here.

Header and story images courtesy of Open Doors USA.