Freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, but in practice it is limited to Sunni Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. Foreigners suspected of religious activity are expelled. The USCIRF has designated Turkmenistan as a Country of Particular Concern since 2000.
The publication of religious literature inside the country is banned. The government controls internet access and has shut down cellphone service. No unregistered religious groups or communities are allowed, and religious communities have been unable to register for years. However, both registered and unregistered religious groups face police raids and other harassment. Unregistered congregations are prohibited from gathering publicly, proselytizing or disseminating religious materials. Participants in house church services have been beaten, fined, had their personal property and businesses seized and faced salary reductions. Authorities have also warned Christians that their children will be kept under close scrutiny in school.