A Christian leader in Turkmenistan, Narmurad Mominov, has been heavily fined after police officers raided a family home where he was visiting, in the Lebap region in eastern Turkmenistan. The house was searched and the family were falsely accused of holding a religious meeting.
According to Forum 18, the day after the raid police summoned each of the people who had been in the house and pressured them to write statements, saying that they would renounce their faith and no longer attend religious meetings. Most of them refused to do so and were eventually permitted to leave after authorities threatened them not to attend Christian meetings.
A former church member who signed the statement was later forced to go to the mosque to publicly declare his repentance for having left Islam, and to say that he had been deceived when he converted to Christianity.
Meanwhile, Narmurad Mominov was fined 100 Manats (US$29) which is equivalent to an average two week’s salary for a farmer in the region. Local Christians reported that authorities demand that fines are paid immediately, or they will confiscate personal property as payment.
Mr Mominov was punished under the country’s Administrative Code, which prohibits the “violation of the procedure established by law for conducted religious rites and rituals … as well as the production, import, export and distribution of literature and other materials of religious content and objects of religious significance”.
In this predominantly Muslim country, all religious books require an approval stamp from authorities before they can be used.
- Pray for Christians in Turkmenistan, where they are forbidden to meet together, own Bibles or other Christians Literature, and often imprisoned and beaten for their faith.
- Pray for Turkmen Christian Leaders, to be able to access training and discipleship material on the internet without problems.
- Pray for Turkmenistan, a country that has been closed to outside influence for decades. Pray for its government to soften in its attitude to the Church, and for many Turkmen people to come to know the Gospel, through dreams vision, and the courageous witness of Turkmen Christians.
Isaiah 45 vs 22:”Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”