President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
Persecution against Christians in this repressive state comes largely from the government and from society.
The government imposes many restrictions on church life. Unless their churches are registered, Christians are highly susceptible to police raids, threats, arrests and fines. Even Russian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches may have their Sunday services monitored. The printing or importing of Christian materials is also restricted.
Believers who come from Muslim backgrounds experience intense pressure from families, friends and villagers to deny their faith.
Despite dropping a place from last year’s position on the World Watch List, little has changed for Christians in Turkmenistan. It remains hugely challenging for those who follow Jesus, notably due to restrictions and surveillance from the state, and pressure on converts to recant.
Whilst government oppression is prevalent across the country, believers from Muslim backgrounds experience greater pressure in rural areas.
Open Doors strengthens the persecuted church in Central Asia by providing Christian literature, biblical and vocational training, and socio-economic development projects. We also provide immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are jailed, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ.