Thursday, August 02, 2007

Regulating Religion

RFE-RL reports on a proposed law in Tajikistan:
"Under the draft law, only Tajik nationals would be allowed to register or lead religious organizations. The bill also requires a minimum number of registered followers in each district and town...

"The draft would require those seeking to establish a religious organization or build a church or other religious facility to first present authorities with adequate lists of members.

"The proposed bill requires at least 400 registered members in districts, 800 in cities, and 1,200 in the capital, Dushanbe, in order to be recognized as a religious organization. Members must disclose personal details that include their identity and sources of income...

"The bill also would prevent small or unsanctioned religious gatherings or events. Such meetings or ceremonies could only be conducted with at least 200 participants and in coordination with local authorities."

One expect quoted in the article said this legislation could prevent the dominant Sunni Muslims from practicing their religion. I would like to figure out where he's coming from with that, because it would be consistent with other recent moves by the Tajik government.



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