Christian missionaries arrested during an exam in Tajikistan

Christian missionaries arrested during an exam in Tajikistan

26 June 2018

Two Central Asian missionaries in Tajikistan were arrested in the middle of a college exam, after secret police officers marched into the college where they were sitting their final paper on 11 June.

The young men, who converted from Islam three years ago in a neighbouring country, had their mobile phones seized and were held for 48 hours as officers searched their homes, confiscating their Christian literature used for church planting and discipleship books.

The pair had lived for two years in Tajikistan, where Christian evangelism is illegal without government authorisation. Their studies gave them a legitimate reason to remain in the country.


At a court hearing on 18 June, the missionaries were fined £340 and ordered to pay £22 costs, before finally being allowed to leave the country on the last day of their visa.

The pastor of the church they attended in their home country said, “God gave them the power of the Holy Spirit to be brave.”

In Tajikistan, an extremely poor country, freedoms for Christians and other religious groups are severely restricted. A draconian religion law, passed in 2009, made all Christian evangelism conducted without government approval illegal. Christians and members of other religious groups can also be prosecuted for importing, exporting, or distributing any religious literature not approved by the authorities. Many Christians, including pastors, have emigrated due to the desperate economic situation and the severe restrictions on practising their faith.

From Barnabas Fund contacts


Published by Julian Kennedy

Bus pass carrying 67 year old disciple of Jesus Christ. Member and deacon of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena. Married to Marianna. Son Joseph at home. Two daughters Marie Isabel and Kirsty in England. Enjoys keeping fit (including indoor rowing), watching track and field, nature and nature documentries. Got hip replacement in April 2014 and major surgery to re-align right knee in November 2017. Blessed in the Covenant love of God in Christ. Retired Emergency Medicine Specialty Doctor.

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