Freedom of religion in Tajikistan | societal abuses and discrimination

Societal abuses and discrimination

Conflict between different religious groups is rare, in part because there are so few non-Muslims; however, some Muslim leaders occasionally express the opinion that minority religious groups undermined national unity and complain that laws and regulations give preference to religious minorities. While most citizens consider themselves Muslim and most of the inhabitants are not anti-Islamic, there is a pervasive fear of Islamic extremism, felt both by the government and the general population. Some citizens, often including Tajikistan's government, interpret a secular state to mean a laical state that should be void of religious practices. Some minority groups reported incidents possibly related to religious discrimination.

On August 18 and September 14, 2006, unknown assailants threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Dushanbe, setting parts of the building on fire. On September 14 the Russian Orthodox Church in Dushanbe also suffered a Molotov cocktail attack. The Ministry of Interior investigated the incidents, but the Government did not prosecute anyone.

The Rabbi of the Dushanbe synagogue reported a break-in at his home in August 2006. Unknown individuals broke into a local church on March 11, 2007. The respective religious groups suspect that the break-ins are related to the groups' religious beliefs, but the motive remains unknown. The Ministry of Interior investigated the case, but no suspects were arrested.