• KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 47

Tajikistan Takes Steps to Punish Sorcerers and Fortune-Tellers

The authorities in Tajikistan plan to introduce punishment in the form of compulsory labor for up to six months for those involved in fortune-telling, sorcery, or witchcraft. "On the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan, inspection and preventive work is continuing to prevent violations related to non-compliance with the requirements of the Laws of the Republic of Tajikistan, 'On the Ordering of Traditions, Celebrations and Rites,' 'On the Responsibility of Parents for the Education and Upbringing of Children,' 'On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,' and others. In this context, control is exercised over persons practicing witchcraft, illegal religious teachings, Mullo, distributing talismans and amulets, and a single register has been introduced for such persons," the Interior Ministry said in an official statement. Police stated that such violations of the law will be punished more severely in future, with the republic's Interior Ministry considering people engaged in various "occult" businesses as fraudsters. "Persons earning a living by fraud (witchcraft, fortune-telling, distribution of talismans and amulets, illegal religious instruction) are [to be] punished with forced labor for up to six months," the law enforcement agency stressed. Back in 2007, against a backdrop of rising energy prices, unemployment and discontent, the government introduced a bill banning witchcraft and fortune-tellers, the visiting of whom was a popular pastime in Tajikistan. Consequently, a law was passed which stated that "those indulging in sorcery and fortune-telling shall be fined between 30 and 40 times the minimum monthly wage." Despite this, however, research released in 2012 found 26% of Tajiks still wore talismans for protection. With the belief in jinns and the "evil eye" holding strong, the appeal of the occult has never gone away, and earlier this year it was reported that demand for exorcisms is on the rise. In March of this year, President Rahmon delivered a speech in which he stated: "People of Tajikistan! The Prophet of Islam strictly forbade going to fortune tellers and sorcerers and said: 'Whoever goes to a fortune teller, his prayers will not be accepted for 40 days, and if he believes what the fortune teller says, he will leave the faith.'" Despite Rahmon citing Islamic scripture, however, Tajikistan has always been a country where religion has been viewed as a challenge to the government's authority, and it pays not to be too devout. In September 2015, clashes over the death in police custody of a man detained for "wearing his beard long" led to seventeen fatalities. In that year alone, the police forcibly shaved 13,000 men's beards and shuttered over 160 shops selling Muslim clothing. Today, the authorities continue to surveil religious institutions.

Religion in the Cities of Kazakhstan – Opinion by Gulmira Ileuova

The research discussed in this article was conducted in July-August 2023 by the Strategy Center for Sociological and Political Studies Public Foundation in collaboration with the office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Central Asia. A total of 1,604 people were surveyed in six cities. Since the goal of the project was to study atheism and atheistic views, the choice of where to conduct the survey was made based on the latest census data, according to which the following regions/cities had the highest proportions of nonbelievers: Kostanay Region (4.84%), Mangystau Region (4.38%), Almaty (4.32%) and Shymkent (3.65%), versus an average across the whole country of 2.25%. Table 1. Religion of the population of Kazakhstan (%; census data)   Muslim Orthodox Refused to answer Nonbeliever Kazakhstan overall 69.31 17.04 11.01 2.25 In cities 64.45 20.45 11.84 2.81   Of course, the term “nonbeliever” is not necessarily equivalent to the concept of “atheist,” but nevertheless we decided to start with these statistics with the goal of understanding the religious identities of city residents in the given areas and identifying the reasons contributing to the increased share of nonbelievers, including atheists. This study was conducted in cities at three administrative-territorial levels: so-called “cities of republic significance” (Almaty and Shymkent); regional capitals (Kostanay and Aktau); small towns (Rudny and Zhanaozen). The survey in these six cities showed that 72% considered themselves Muslim, 10% Orthodox and 4% atheist (Rudny 5.6%, Almaty 4.7%, Zhanaozen 4.5%, Kostanay 3.0%), while about 1% named other denominations (“protestant movements,” “Baptists,” “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” “New Life”). Twelve percent refused to answer the question, while 1% could not answer. Analyzing the responses to this question by age, we see that there are more atheists in the youngest age group of 18-24 years old at almost 5%, while in this same cohort, as well as in the 31-49 age group there is a higher proportion of Muslims (77% each, versus 65% in the 50+ group). A higher share of people over 50 are Orthodox Christians, while in this oldest group more people also refused to the question (17%). Thus, 87% of city dwellers who took part in the survey reported that they were followers of one religion or another. However, if we use the Dawkins spectrum (of theistic probability) – which we slightly modified for the purposes of this study – we see that among those surveyed only 77% were believers. Overall, only 48% were strong theists, absolutely convinced that God exists. Another 29% were uncertain that God exists but still assume so. Twenty percent classified themselves as agnostics – lacking a clear position on whether God exists or not – while 3% are atheists, strong or uncertain.   Table 2. Which statement best reflects your position? (% of total respondents) Statement Share, % Decided theist (I am convinced that God exists) 47.9 Uncertain theist (I do not know for sure that God exists, but the probability is high, so I believe that he does) 29.4 Agnostic (I do not know whether God exists...

Tajikistan’s Hajj Pilgrims Reach Record Numbers

Around 10,000 Tajikistani nationals traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2023 to complete the Hajj pilgrimage, which is nearly three times higher than five years ago. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2,000-3,000 Tajikistanis made pilgrimages to the town of Mecca each year. This increase was first reported by the Asia-Plus news site. One of the reasons for the growing number of pilgrims is the improvement of living standards in Tajikistan. In recent years citizens' incomes have increased, meaning they have had the opportunity to go on pilgrimage more often. Additionally, visa procedures for Tajikistan have been simplified by Saudi Arabia's introduction of an e-visa system -- which citizens of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan also have access to. Those going to Mecca can now obtain a tourist visa for $140 through the official Saudi e-visa website. Previously, Tajik citizens could travel to the Kingdom only after first obtaining a visa from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Dushanbe. Another reason is that Hajj pilgrimages are becoming more popular culturally. Tajik society has become more religious in recent years, with some people now performing Hajj three or four times in their lifetime. However, in one of his greetings to the nation last year, the prominent Imam Ali Rahman expressed his concern that some people “make visiting the house of God a special family competition, and [feel obliged to] perform Hajj several times.” Going on Hajj has also become cheaper. In recent years the price of a simple pilgrimage has decreased slightly, and it has become possible to travel through Uzbekistan and Russia. Tajik companies providing Umrah Hajj services this year are asking for between 17,000 somoni ($1,550) and 19,000 somoni ($1,750) per person. Previously this amount ranged from 20,000 somoni ($1,832) to 25,000 somoni ($2,290).

Uzbekistan: Tashkent police reject claims of forcing men with beards to shave

TASHKENT (TCA) — City police in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent are rejecting claims that dozens of men with beards were detained and forced to shave because they were practicing Muslims, saying the men were held during a raid to find suspects selling stolen mobile phones, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported. Continue reading

Uzbekistan: Men reportedly detained, forced to shave beards

TASHKENT (TCA) — Security officials in Uzbekistan have come under fire after allegedly detaining dozens of males at a local market in Tashkent and shaving their beards before releasing them, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported. Continue reading

US provides assistance to preserve historical heritage in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The United States Ambassador to Tajikistan, John Mark Pommersheim, on June 25 joined local authorities to celebrate the opening of the historical Oim Madrasa, the first educational institution for women in Tajikistan. Through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) program, the US Embassy awarded the Public Organization Imdodi Ghayrat a grant of $77,154 for the restoration and renovation of the rooms, walls, and roofs of the madrasa, the Embassy said. Continue reading

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