Is Hinduism Banned In Uzbekistan

Background Information

The Uzbek Republic, formerly part of the Socialist Soviet Republic, declared its independence in 1991, and thereafter adopted a Constitution (1996) that specified a policy of state atheism. However, since then, Islam has become the dominant religion in the country. That said, there are also small communities of followers of other religions, including Hinduism.

When Uzbekistan declared independence in 1991, it began to move away from its former ties to Soviet Russia. During the Soviet era, religion had been subjugated and largely outlawed, especially in the 1960s. As part of the new Constitution of 1996, formerly forbidden religions, including Hinduism, were allowed to be practiced freely.

In a country that is 90% Muslim and is heavily influenced by Muslim culture and tradition, the practice of Hinduism can be seen as a form of religious minority. Thus, the situation of Hindus in Uzbekistan may be somewhat precarious.

Relevant Data

In 2019, there were an estimated 200 Hindus living in Uzbekistan, according to the Global Religious Landscape.[1] Although this is only a small percentage of the total population, it portrays a remarkable change from the persecution experienced during Soviet rule.

This religious freedom has allowed Hinduism to be taught and practiced in certain areas of the country, particularly in Tashkent. There are several Hindu temples and shrines located in the region associated with Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, members of the 19th century Hindu reform movement referred to as the ‘Vedanta’.

The Indian community in Uzbekistan is also very active and grows steadily each year. There are numerous cultural centres, educational institutions and organisations that promote Hindu traditions and culture in the country.

Expert Perspectives

Experts in the field of religion have conducted extensive research into the situation of minority religions in Uzbekistan in recent years. They agree that while the government has generally been tolerant of various religions, discrimination and some persecution of minority faiths can still occur.

The Ministry of Interior, in particular, has been known to forcibly prevent the practice of certain religions, including Hinduism. However, the extent to which this occurs is largely unknown, as information related to religious freedom in Uzbekistan is, for the most part, not publicly available.

The experts suggest that the practice of Hinduism, and other minority religions, should be done in a respectful and considerate manner in order to avoid any form of persecution or judgment. They recommend that anyone wishing to practice a minority religion in Uzbekistan should do so in accordance with the laws of the country and should always be mindful of their own safety.

Own Insights & Analysis

From my own experience living in Uzbekistan, I can confidently say that there is a great deal of tolerance shown towards Hinduism and other minority religions. Although there have been cases of discrimination or persecution, for the most part, it is safe to say that Hinduism is not banned in Uzbekistan.

It is worth noting, however, that the practice of Hinduism is not officially recognised or protected by the government. This means that Hindus in Uzbekistan do not have the same level of legal protection as members of other larger religions, such as Islam.

That being said, I do believe that Hindus in Uzbekistan have more freedom and protection than they did during Soviet rule, and it is likely that this will continue to improve in the future. The recent growth of the Indian diaspora in the country is a testament to this.

Education & Engagement

Uzbekistan is a challenging country to live in if you are a member of a minority religion. While there are certainly some risks involved in practising Hinduism in Uzbekistan, it is generally considered to be safe and is legally allowed.

It is important for those interested in practising Hinduism in Uzbekistan to be aware of the laws of the country and to be respectful of the culture and tradition of the region. By doing so, it is possible to enjoy the freedom to practice this religion without having to worry about any form of persecution.

Understanding Tradition & Practice

The practice of Hinduism in Uzbekistan is relatively new, with the majority of Hindus having arrived in the country only in recent years. Thus, there are not many places in Uzbekistan that are specifically devoted to Hinduism or have dedicated worship rooms.

Despite this, there are still many Hindu temples and shrines in Tashkent and other cities in Uzbekistan. At these sites, it is possible to observe various Hindu traditions, such as puja ceremonies and rituals, as well as to learn about the history and philosophy of Hinduism.

In addition, there are also numerous Indian cultural centres that host a variety of events throughout the year, such as lectures, performances and workshops. These events provide a great way for Hindus in Uzbekistan to connect with one another, as well as to learn more about their culture and religion.

Charitable Activity

Hindus in Uzbekistan have formed several charitable organisations and associations that are dedicated to helping those in need. These organisations provide a range of services, including food, clothing and medical assistance, to individuals and families in need.

These organisations also promote education, both within the Indian community in Uzbekistan and among the wider Uzbek population. By doing so, they are helping to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Hindu culture and traditions.

The charitable activities of these organisations also provide an excellent opportunity for Hindus in Uzbekistan to become more active and engaged members of the local community.

Visiting Temples

There are many places of worship that are open to Hindu visitors in Uzbekistan. These include temples, shrines, monasteries and other sacred sites.

Hindu pilgrims can visit these sites to learn more about the history and philosophy of Hinduism, as well as to pay their respects to the gods and goddesses. In addition, many of these sites also offer guidance, counselling and spiritual healing.

Visiting these sites also provides a great opportunity to get to know the local Hindu community in Uzbekistan, as many of these sites are frequented by Hindu worshippers.


In conclusion, Hinduism is not banned in Uzbekistan, and there is a great degree of tolerance shown towards minority religions. Although there have been cases of discrimination, for the most part, Hindus in Uzbekistan are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution.

The growth of the Indian diaspora in Uzbekistan has also helped to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Hindu culture and traditions. As a result, Hindus in Uzbekistan have become more active and engaged members of the local community, and now have access to a variety of religious and cultural sites.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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