Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Christians in Turkmenistan face upsurge ...

Email:

Christians in Turkmenistan face upsurge in harassment, threats and fines

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Christians in Turkmenistan face upsurge in harassment, threats and fines

Country/Region: Turkmenistan, Central Asia

Home raided, business closed and ousted from town; threatened with expulsion and harassment of their children at school; taken to court and fined: summer 2012 for Christians in Turkmenistan.

Protestant Christians have faced an upsurge in harassment, raids, threats and legal action over the last few months. One, who wished to remain anonymous, said:  

The situation has got markedly worse since July and we don’t know why.

The flag of Turkmenistan

On 25 June, plain-clothes police officers raided the home of a Christian man in Tejen while he was at work. They subjected his mother, who was in the property alone, to intense questioning, and seized Bibles and Christian books from his room. She was greatly distressed by the ordeal.

The police ordered that the man come to the police station the next day to make a statement. He was interrogated by the secret police, who asked why he did not pray the namaz (Islamic prayers) and threatened him. The Christian man was told that his career was over; his business was subsequently closed down, and many of its goods and fittings were confiscated.

A police officer then told him that if he did not want his mother to be upset again, he should leave the town, which he did. 

Threatened with expulsion

In another incident, imams and local officials summoned all residents of a village in Serdarabad district to a meeting. They threatened to expel or ostracise all Protestants, and to keep their children under close scrutiny at school.

There have been a number of instances of Christian children being harassed and discriminated against at school in Turkmenistan. One Christian said:

Children of believers can be singled out by head teachers and individual teachers for ridicule and can have their grades lowered because of the faith of their parents.

Fined for unregistered religious activity

At least five Christians in Lebap Region were taken to court in late August and fined for taking part in unregistered religious activity. They were all accused of violating the law on religious organisations, which comprises refusing to register a religious community or participating in an unregistered religious community. 

One of the Christians who tried to appeal against the fine was told that this was not allowed. Court officials threatened to seize the family’s property if the fine was not paid. 

Threatened and harassed

In late July, several Protestants were summoned by the authorities in Gubadag district and threatened with losing their jobs if they continued to attend church meetings, and with imprisonment if they persisted.

Earlier in the year, in late March, secret police officers raided a flat where five elderly Christian women had gathered for worship, as was their regular practice. They were so frightened by the incident that they have stopped meeting together.   

While Turkmenistan’s constitution theoretically grants religious freedom, a Religion Law passed in 2003 forbids any activity by unregistered religious groups. The authorities try to suppress Christian activity, subjecting believers to raids, fines or exile; some lose their jobs and homes, and pastors are sometimes beaten or imprisoned.  

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Christians in Turkmenistan face upsurge in harassment, threats and fines

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 50 minutes ago

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Aid in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark