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“I Live Only to See Them”. Kyrgyzstanis Wait for Their Children and Grandchildren to Come Back from Syria

Bermet Ulanova 11.10.19

The daughter-in-law and grandchildren of the Kyrgyzstani Sabira Osmonova reside now in Syria, her second daughter-in-law and granddaughter returned to Kazakhstan during the first special operation Zhussan. Her son Nurbek left for Syria in 2013, and half a year ago he was reported dead.    (more…)

IWPR Trained GBAO Religious Leaders on Media Literacy

cabar.asia 10.10.19

More than 80 religious leaders completed trainings conducted by IWPR in partnership with the Committee of Religion, Regulation of National Traditions, Celebrations and Ceremonies under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, in three districts of the GBAO: Darvoz, Vanj Districts and in the city of Khorog, from the 1st to 5th of October.

IWPR Tajikistan: Dialogue Meetings with Activists of the Vanj District of GBAO

IWPR Tajikistan together with representatives of the Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan met with activists of the Vanj district of GBAO.

Right Not to Believe, or What Modern Atheism Looks Like in Kyrgyzstan

cabar.asia 21.08.19

According to the 2016 research, a mere 0.7 per cent of Kyrgyzstanis deem themselves atheists.


Kyrgyzstan: A Bit of Secularism for Religious Education

Kyrgyzstan wants to introduce secular disciplines along with religion in religious educational institutions. The draft regulation on religious education has been brought up for public discussion.

IWPR Representative Office in Tajikistan participated in an expert discussion on the cooperation of research centres with the media

cabar.asia 31.05.19

The activities of the IWPR Office in Tajikistan and the specialized portal Belief.cabar.asia were presented during the discussion.

Conference “Cooperation of research centers and the media in the formation of the information sphere: achievements and problems.” 


IWPR барои имом-хатибони се шаҳри Тоҷикистон машғулиятҳои омӯзишӣ баргузор кард 

Намояндагии IWPR дар Тоҷикистон 71 имом-хатиб аз шаҳрҳои Турсунзода, Хуҷанд ва Конибодомро ба давраҳои омӯзишӣ фаро гирифт. Дар ин машғулиятҳо имом-хатибон аз навоҳии наздимарзӣ, намояндагони мақомоти маҳаллӣ, мақомоти ҳокимияти иҷроия, Кумитаи дин, танзими анъана ва ҷашну маросими назди Ҳукумати Тоҷикистон ва Маркази исломшиносии назди Президенти Тоҷикистон иштирок карданд.   

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How do people react to me being a Bahá’í, – blog

The first adherents of Bahá’í Faith appeared in Kyrgyzstan in the beginning of 90s. Today, 12 Bahá’í communities are registered in the country. One of the followers, Malika, told us about how people close to her react to her religious views in everyday life.

– I will begin by saying that since I was 8 years old, every day I intuitively prayed to God before sleeping. I thanked Him for the day and asked Him to bless my relatives with health and well-being.

When I was 10, I came across the religion of Islam for the first time. I set my heart upon studying in a religious school for girls. My mom did not allow me to do so back then. She said when I turn 18, I would be able to make rational and independent decisions on what to do. At the same time, my mom and my grandma were not against me studying and learning more about other religions.

Since the 6th grade, I came to love history and realized there are many other worldviews. When I became 18, I entered the faculty of history, where I was engaged in a research of different religions for two years. This is how I understood that the ideas and principles of Bahá’í are the closest to me.

My grandma was the first who got to know about my adherence to Bahá’í among my relatives. She listened to me attentively and then wondered of what does this religion say about the trade, as she used to work in the marketplace for many years. I explained to her that by doing her work, she also serves the people around her. She became happy and supported my decision.

When I told my mom, she was somewhat worried, as it was the first time she heard about it. But when she received adequate amount of information, she told me she was not against and she respected my choice.

My university friends reacted differently. While most of them reacted positively, one of my coursemates told me I was wrong and I betrayed the faith [Islam]. He told me he prayed for me changing my mind every day. Meanwhile, I prayed for him accepting my decision.

Three of my close friends from my university class made jokes about me being a member of a sect. They also had many questions about my faith. Nevertheless, they did not change their attitude to me, and we are friends for more than 5 years now.

With what regards the professors, one of them always told me I could not study to become a historian, i.e. be religious and simultaneously study science.

Last year, me and my friend confessed to each other in that we consider each other to be more than just friends and decided to talk. I told him I was Bahá’í. He shared with me a story of his grandfather telling him to marry only a Muslim before dying. Then I turned it all into a joke and told him I was not going to marry him and that we could remain wonderful friends. I still have good relations with him.

Overall, many people react positively. Many note that I become better in my reasoning, personality and spirituality.

The story was produced under IWPR project “Stability in Central Asia via Open Dialogue”. If you want to become a participant of our blog, share with us on how your belief or worldview reveal in your everyday life.