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
  • Young Christian man killed by Muslim co-worker in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam http://ow.ly/w1Uum 18 hours ago

  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Pray for Barnabas Aid partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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