The majority of Turkmen live in Turkmenistan, which is located in south Central Asia along the Caspian Sea. Many others live in the surrounding Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. Their culture has been strongly influenced in the past by both the Turkic conquerors, who imposed their language on them, and the Arabs, who forced them to convert to Islam. Long ago, they developed a strong ethnic identity as “children of the desert” because they would plunder rich caravans of Persian traders.
In the 17th century, the Turkmen, or Trukhmens as they were called in Russia, migrated into the Caucasus. Turkmen use Russian as their literary language.
There is little awareness of Christianity among the Turkmen, and few believers. Christian churches have been closed, and members told they cannot meet. Believers face scrutiny from the government. Hostility to evangelistic activities has increased since 1997.
Although there is only a small population of Turkmen who have crossed the northwestern border of Turkmenistan and are living in Kazakhstan, the Bible League is using Project Philip there and training church planters effectively.
The New Testament was published in 1994, but more laborers and evangelistic tools are desperately needed for the Turkmen.
A Gospel witness to Turkmen will be most effective coming from other Turkmen who are culturally sensitive. Turkmen pastors face great hardship and persecution. Some have been fined, beaten and put in jail. Their sacrifice will be the seeds of the Kingdom sown into Turkmen lives.
* Pray that God would raise up strong, bold Turkmen believers that will preach the Gospel without fearing for their lives.
* Pray that persecution will bring unity and stronger faith to the Turkmen Christians.
* Ask the Lord to anoint His Word to the Turkmen believers.
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to live among the Turkmen and share with them the love of Christ.
* Pray that Christian radio broadcasts and literature will be made available to the Turkmen.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Turkmen believers.
* Pray that they will have opportunities to share the Gospel with their own people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Turkmen towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Turkmen.