According to Open Doors, the Turkmen government is increasing restrictions against believers who have either Christian literature, CD’s or DVD’s with Christian content, or who gather together for worship or Bible study.
Christians are afraid that state officials may cut their gas or water pipes or confiscate their land for planting crops. Believers are also afraid that state representatives could stir up problems at their places of work.
Some secret church members have been forced to meet for worship services outside of their cities, and some members now worship at night due to safety issues.
Open Doors reports that some of the local pastors have been followed by the police, and have been warned by local police officers that, where it can be proved that they have distributed banned literature and / or held illegal meetings, the pastors will be sent to jail.
Turkmenistan is ranked 20th on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. The regime of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov continues to restrict freedom of religion, and Christian converts from a Muslim background are facing persecution from their family, friends and community. In this Muslim-dominated country of 5.3 million, there are an estimated 95,000 Christians.
- Pray for Turkmenistan, a country all but closed to any western influence or mission work.
- Pray for Turkmen believers, to be encouraged in their faith, for opportunities to meet together and for protection.
- Pray that the Turkmen government will ease restriction on freedom to worship and on Christians in general.
- Pray for the Gospel to spread and many to come to Christ in this needy, closed nation.
Psalm 22 vs 27: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him”