majority of Tajikistan's inhabitants are ethnic Tajiks, who are
predominantly Muslim. Under Soviet rule (1921-1991), religion was
severely restricted; mosques were closed and religious practice
was prohibited outside of state-sanctioned places of worship. Restrictions
were eased somewhat in the mid-1980s, but it was not until Tajikistan
became independent in 1991 that Muslims were again able to freely
practice their religion.