A small mountainous country in Central Asia, Tajikistan is rich with tradition, beauty and hospitable people, who struggle day to day to survive. Tajikistan has impressive mountains but few opportunities for its population of seven million. Many Tajik men travel to Russia to find work and stay there for months at a time, leaving villages with only women, children and retired men. Most inhabitants are Muslim Tajiks — a Persian people group — although there are substantial minorities of Russian, Uzbek and Pamiri people.
One of the Tajik people's rich traditions is to place their hand on leftover bread, kiss their hand and then touch their forehead. It's a physical prayer of thanks that there was enough food left over.
Folk Islam predominates here. There are around 5,000 Tajik believers and twenty official fellowships. However, very few traditional Tajiks have been reached and Christian witness is largely limited to larger towns. Currently the government is tolerant of evangelical Christians although proposed new laws, tightening the requirements for churches, may limit freedoms in the future.
Thank You for the mountainous country of Tajikistan, with its rich tradition and hospitable people. Thank You for the small, but growing church. We pray for Your love to break the power of Folk Islam and poverty, so that the people can be free and receive Your joy.
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