Душанбе Грейс Сонмин - 두샨베은혜선민교회 - Dushanbe Grace Sunmin Churсh

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UPDATE: Grace Sunmin Church lost its final appeal

Grace Sunmin Church lost its final appeal in the battle for its property on December 12, 2008. The original sale of the property was declared a mistake and the property ordered to be returned to the government of Dushanbe. Preparations are now being made to vacate the premesis.

 

An urgent prayer request.

Dear Christians of the world, we ask of your prayers in regards to Grace Sunmin Church in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. To offer a brief history, a missionary from Grace Ministries International began his ministry in the Republic of Tajikistan with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, ministering to the orphans and ill-ridden patients in the midst of confusion caused by their civil war and continued to build the church with other charitable work, including prison ministry and providing daily free meals to the elderly, all the while evangelizing and discipling the locals.

The prayer request is as follows:

As the church grew, the need for a building was also evident. A building with only its skeletal elements was purchased in 1996, and in 1997, all payments were made and the building was officially registered under the church name. However, due to lack of funds, the actual construction of the church began in 1999 and that time also marked the beginning of harsh persecution by Muslims.

During Sunday service of October 2000 in their rented church, a terrorist’s bombing resulted in 10 martyrs with approximately 100 injured church members. The members moved into their purchased building which was yet to be finished, but in the year 2002, the city sued the church and demanded the return of the building.

The church won the court case in 2004 and was thought to have been victorious for good. However, the mayor of Dushanbe intruded within the church and demanded the return of the building while persecuting and arresting church members. Keeping in mind that the church was sold and signed over by the very same mayor, his demand did not make any legal sense.

Eventually, the mayor demanded the return of the church building through the city’s department of education in 2007, and the church members began spending their days and nights praying and fasting. God heard their prayers and in February of 2008, the church received a favorable ruling in the Supreme Court case. The mayor, however, did not back off after the ruling. In turn, he nullified the February supreme court ruling and appealed to have another trial on August 29th.

In that trial, all visitors and observers were ordered to leave the courtroom. With only the mayor and Supreme Court judges present, a ruling was made against the church. Grace Sunmin requested a fair and lawful solution, but was denied their wishes.

The appeal which took place on October 16, 2008 resulted in another decision against the church. A final trial is coming, though the church is already predicted to lose as all decisions are influenced by political power.

The only way to block their scheme is with God’s help. So we ask for your prayers with united heart and strength. The victory of this trial is a necessary step in order to evangelize Muslims and spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth as commanded by God.

  1. The Holy Spirit to work through the supreme court judge and the mayor of Dushanbe.
  2. The case to be tried in a lawful and fair manner.
  3. The health of the missionary and his wife, and for them to overcome the trial without weariness.

The Lord will fight the battle and be glorified.


For more information see: Property and Trial History Timeline
or contact: contact-en@dushanbegrace.org

See also these articles published by Forum 18:
1 September 2008: TAJIKISTAN: Confiscation and destruction of religious property with "undue cause"?
8 October 2008: TAJIKISTAN: Four religious communities reject government claims to OSCE

This page last updated 19 December 2008.