Turkmenistan - Photo: Unsplash

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a profoundly restricted country. There are only eight Protestant churches in this nation of 5.6 million people and commitment to Islam is growing among the population. In spite of restrictions, the Gospel is being proclaimed regularly through satellite television and personal testimonies. The country has prospered economically because of its natural gas reserves and access to the Caspian Sea. However, due to its long history of dictatorship, Turkmenistan remains closed and isolated. School children must swear an oath of allegiance to the government every morning.

Life for Christians

The publishing of religious literature and the use of cell phones within the country have been banned by the government, which also controls all Internet access. As no unregistered religious groups are allowed, and religious communities have been unable to register for years, Christians who gather for worship or prayer are subject to police raids and other forms of harassment. Unregistered congregations are prohibited from gathering publicly, proselytizing or disseminating religious materials. As a result, participants in house church services have been beaten and fined, experienced salary reductions, and/or had their personal properties and businesses seized. Authorities have also issued warnings to Christian parents, stating that their children will be kept under close scrutiny at school. Whenever believers want to travel out of the country for Christian training or encouragement, they face added difficulties with customs authorities.

Country Information

Population
5,411,012 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Turkmen (85), Uzbek (5), Russian (4), other (6)

Religion (%)
Islam (89), Eastern Orthodox (9), other (2)

Leader
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

Government type
Presidential republic; authoritarian

Legal system
Civil law system with Islamic law influences

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Turkmenistan

Pray that the Lord will give the suffering members of the church in Turkmenistan the strength and determination to stand firm amid opposition and oppression. May they be granted opportunities to meet together for meaningful times of worship, Bible study and fellowship – encouraging and edifying one another in the Christian faith. Despite governmental restrictions, and the threat of fine or imprisonment, may the church in Turkmenistan flourish and bear much good fruit.

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Turkmenistan News

  • Christmastime Raid
    Christians studying the Bible - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
    Pray that Turkmen believers will have opportunities to share God’s truths.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    A group of women who gathered on December 26th had their worship time disrupted by a police raid. The home was searched and cell-phones were confiscated. The women were forced to give legal statement

    ...
  • Christian Imprisoned for Faith Released!

    A prisoner who was charged disproportionately because of his Christian faith has been released from prison after nearly three years behind bars. Umid Gojayev, 32, was freed through prisoner amnesty on February 17th. Turkmenistan's president signed a decree initiating the amnesty to mark the country'

    ...
  • Christian Leader Fined Following Police Raid

    A Christian leader from Galkynysh in Lebap Region was recently fined two weeks' average local wages following a police raid. The authorities stopped Narmurad Mominov just as he left the home of a Christian family he had been visiting. Narmurad was ordered to stay at the home, where he and the other

    ...
  • Follower of Jesus Endures Detention for His Faith
    Umid Gojayev

    Umid Gojayev, a 30-year-old husband and father of three young children, is continuing to be held in detention because of his faith.

    In early 2012, Umid had an argument with four neighbours over access to a well where they live in Dashoguz. In the scuffle, Umid was forced to defend himse

    ...