A Story of Persecution from Turkmenistan
The 11-page indictment against Pastor Ilmurad Nurliev alleges many things his wife and church members vigorously refute. Among other things, it accuses Ilmurad of being a drug addict who needs treatment. His wife told Forum 18 that Ilmurad has not touched drugs since he became a Christian in 1999.
It also alleges that the Nurliev family lives off the tithes of the church members, but Ilmurad works as a barber and Maya works in a factory.
The indictment alleges that Pastor Ilmurad extracted money from five church members. Two women and three men testified against him. The two women came to church meetings a few times and one gave a small amount of money. Two of the men are not known to the church members and the third man is Pastor Nurliev’s former school teacher who later became an alcoholic and was helped by Ilmurad with clothes and crockery. Since 2007 he has not attended the church neither did he give any money.
Church members insist that the whole case has been fabricated to stop Ilmurad Nurliev’s Christian activities.