AKIPRESS.COM - The U.S. State Department included Tajikistan in the blacklist of countries violating the religious freedom in 2016 Report on International Religious Freedom.
The government of Tajikistan in 2016 continued to take measures to prevent individuals from joining or participating in what it considered to be “extremist” organizations, arresting or detaining over 100 persons, primarily for membership in banned religious groups, including Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Ansarrullah, Jindullah, ISIS, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, the report says.
An amendment to the constitution, passed in May, bans political parties based on religion. The law restricts Islamic prayer to specific locations, regulates the registration and location of mosques, and prohibits persons under 18 from participating in public religious activities.
The government Committee on Religious Affairs (CRA) controls all aspects of religious life, including approving registration of religious associations, construction of houses of worship, participation of children in religious education, and the dissemination of religious literature.
The government reported it had closed over 1,000 “illegal” prayer rooms and mosques in different parts of the country over the past few years or converted them into cultural and entertainment centers. The government issued warnings (informal rather than legal action) to over 100 mullahs for providing “illegal” religious education to young people.
The U.S. Embassy officers continued to raise concerns about government restrictions on religious practices, including restrictions on women and minors participating in religious services, interference with peaceful religious activities, rejection of attempts of minority religions to register their organizations, restrictions on religious education of youth, harassment of those wearing religious attire, and limitations on the publication or importation of religious literature.
The authors of the report note that more than 90% of the population of Tajikistan are Muslims.