Persecution of Non-Muslims (Tajikistan)
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World Watch Monitor, October 20, 2000
Authorities finally arrest real culprits behind deadly Sonmin Grace Church bombings; 3 local Islamic studies students, paper attacks ex-Muslims by calling terror attack, "God’s punishment on traitors to their faith"
World Watch Monitor, November 17, 2000
2 bombings damage empty church buildings in the country's capital, and a New Year’s Eve attack against another church, described as "a deliberate attempt" to kill or injure church members, is foiled by church worker
World Watch Monitor, February 16, 2001
Century-old synagogue (the last remaining synagogue in the country) is finally razed by the government. Jews who opposed the demolition are threatened by officials, but most are afraid to speak out
It is being destroyed to make way for the construction of a new presidential complex in the capital, Dushanbe.
Members of Tajikistan's ancient Jewish community say they have not been given adequate compensation to enable them to build a new synagogue.
Jews have lived in Tajikistan for many centuries, but the community declined after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Bulldozers have already destroyed part of the compound. The demolition of the synagogue building itself is expected to go ahead later in the year.
Dushanbe's small Jewish community, mostly poor and elderly, have almost resigned themselves to losing their only place of worship.
But they say the distant plot of land the government has given them in exchange is inadequate compensation.
They cannot afford to build a new synagogue, and they say the new land, on the edge of the city, is too far away.
Afraid to speak out
The current synagogue sits on a prime site in the middle of the capital, where the government is building a large new office complex for the president.
The rabbi says the community still hopes the government, or international Jewish groups, will help them to acquire an appropriate building for a new synagogue.
But people familiar with the Jewish community in Dushanbe say those opposed to the demolition had been threatened by officials and most of the congregation are afraid to speak out.
Tajikistan's Jews are members of the ancient community of Persian-speaking Bukharan Jews, who have lived in central Asia for more than 2,000 years.Dushanbe's synagogue was built about 100 years ago, in what was then one of the city's two Jewish quarters.
Ian MacWilliam, BBC News, March 6, 2006
Ynet News, June 25, 2008
24-year-old visiting relatives dressed as Father Christmas is stabbed and beaten to death by a crowd of Muslims shouting "You infidel!"
A crowd attacked 24-year-old Parviz Davlatbekov and stabbed him with a knife as he visited relatives in the early hours of Monday dressed as Father Frost, who by tradition brings Russian children presents at New Year. Russian cultural influence remains strong in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic.
"We have witness statements that say the crowd beat Parviz and stabbed him with a knife, shouting: 'You infidel!'," one of the sources told Reuters.
The second source said religious hatred was being investigated as the motive for the crime, which occurred in the capital Dushanbe.
Tajikistan is officially secular, although the vast majority of its 7.7 million people are Muslims.
. . .
Roman Kozhevnikov, Reuters, January 2, 2012