Open Doors has received a report from its partners in Turkmenistan that the Turkmen government is increasing restrictions against believers who have Christian literature, keep CD’s or DVD’s with Christian content and gather together for worship or Bible study.
Christians are afraid that state officials may cut their gas or water pipes or take away their personal pieces of land for planting crops. Believers are also afraid that state representatives could stir up problems at their places of work.
Some secret church members have been forced to meet for worship services outside of their cities. Also, some members now worship at night due to safety issues.
Open Doors reports that some of the local pastors are have been followed by the police and extensive surveillance has been carried out by the police. Some pastors have been warned by local police officers, that in cases of proving the fact of their distribution of banned literature and illegal meetings, they will be sent to jail.
Please pray for the situation in Turkmenistan and God’s protection for pastors and church members.
Turkmenistan is ranked 20th on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. The regime of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov continues to restrict the freedom of religion, and Christian converts from a Muslim background are facing persecution from their family, friends and community. In this Muslim-dominated country of 5.3 million, there are an estimated 95,000 Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.