Demolition Begins on Last Tajik Synagogue

March 6, 2006

Source: BBC News

On March 6, 2006 BBC News reported, "The authorities in the central Asian republic of Tajikistan have started to demolish the country's last synagogue. It is being destroyed to make way for the construction of a new presidential complex in the capital, Dushanbe. Members of Tajikistan's ancient Jewish community say they have not been given adequate compensation to enable them to build a new synagogue. Jews have lived in Tajikistan for many centuries, but the community declined after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bulldozers have already destroyed part of the compound. The demolition of the synagogue building itself is expected to go ahead later in the year. Dushanbe's small Jewish community, mostly poor and elderly, have almost resigned themselves to losing their only place of worship. But they say the distant plot of land the government has given them in exchange is inadequate compensation. They cannot afford to build a new synagogue, and they say the new land, on the edge of the city, is too far away."