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#23 in Christian persecution, Turkmenistan

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  • #23 in Christian persecution, Turkmenistan

    Always being watched

    Turkmenistan is extremely repressive for religious minorities. No religious activities beyond state-run and state-controlled institutions are allowed. Government paranoia results in the constant monitoring of religious activities, including tight restrictions on printing or importing Christian materials.

    And the police, secret services and local authorities raid non-registered churches and infiltrate church services. Even Russian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches may experience Sunday services being monitored. The Islamic culture also makes life for converts to Christianity particularly difficult. Given increased nationalism and the views of the dictatorial president, the pressure on Christians in this former Soviet republic will likely remain high. How Christians are suffering

    It is very common for members of Protestant churches to be regarded as followers of an alien sect aiming to depose the government—reinforcing the government’s need to control and eradicate Christians. Indigenous Muslims who convert to Christianity are most persecuted, including pressure and occasional physical violence from families, friends and local community attempting to force them to return to their former faith. Some converts are even locked up by their families for long periods of time, beaten and may eventually be expelled from their communities. In areas where churches have not been registered, Christians suffer repeatedly from acts of Christian persecution, including police raids, threats, arrests and fines. Examples

    Ever since a new law on religious organizations and religious freedom was introduced in March 2016, Turkmenistan authorities have exerted tighter controls on church life. All religious entities are required to re-register, but evangelical churches have been repeatedly denied registration.

    In April 2018, a house meeting of converts was raided. Everyone present was arrested, taken to a police station and questioned for several hours. After the questioning, all were released, however group members have remained under strict police surveillance ever since.

    Christians have reported intimidation by teachers and police in schools, according to regional news agency Forum 18. School officials have reportedly brought in Muslim clerics to intimidate non-Muslim children.

    Pray for Turkmenistan

    • Turkmenistan is considered one of the most restrictive countries in the world. Pray for increased freedoms in this former Soviet republic.
    • Pray for believers who are former Muslims. They are fiercely pressured by families and Muslim society to return to Islam. Pray for protection and endurance.
    • Pray for the safety of Christian children in Muslim-dominated schools as they face discrimination from both teachers and classmates.
    • Pray that police officers and secret service members who are infiltrating churches and monitoring Christians would encounter the gospel in miraculous and Kingdom-building ways. Ask God to use their exposure to the Word to speak to their hearts.
    Turkmenistan Photo Gallery

    Photo of a mosque in Turkmenistan. Christian persecution in the region often comes from mosques.
    Stories from Turkmenistan

    August 12, 2018 Central Asia—where owning a Bible is a punishable crime

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    May 21, 2018 Once a persecutor, now a Christ-follower—former Muslim shares how he met Jesus during Ramadan

    Former Muslims, now Christians, share their stories of finding Jesus during Ramadan and the catalytic impact of their newfound faith on their lives. Read More


    June 4, 2017 When She Kept Following Jesus, She Was Forced to Resign

    Karina, a Turkmen teacher, knew Jesus’ call for total abandonment to Him; however, she never expected the police to show up during a work meeting and tell her to renounce her faith in the God of the Christians. Read More

    Per Hebrew 13:3 please "Remember those in prison":

    Acts 21 Now they have been informed about you that you continually teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn back from and forsake Moses...Therefore do just what we tell you....thus everybody will know that there is no truth in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in observance of the Law of Moses.