|Sources of Persecution||Dictatorial Paranoia|
|Leader||President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow|
During the days of the Soviet Union, atheism was enforced by the state. Religion is still viewed with suspicion and distrust, and the church is heavily regulated. Christians are often regarded as followers of an alien sect that needs to be controlled, and even completely eradicated.
There is a law that forbids worship in private homes and bans all religious activity by unregistered organisations. Christians are constantly monitored and subject to threats, police raids, the confiscation of Christian materials, fines and imprisonment.
Most Turkmens identify as Muslim. Converting from Islam to Christianity is seen as dishonourable to one’s family, and can lead to violent persecution and rejection. Children are usually isolated and kept from having any fellowship with others. Christian women living in conservative Muslim areas can even be kidnapped and forced to marry Muslim men.
“Your prayers were as a wall of fire around me; even when it was very cold, the Lord Jesus warmed me…thank you for praying for me and my family.” – Pastor Ilmurad, Christian from Turkmenistan.
Pastor Ilmurad was imprisoned for his faith in Turkmenistan. He wasn’t allowed a Bible, but he continued to share the gospel with fellow prisoners and guards. He saw many people come to Christ.
We support Central Asian Christians who are in prison, excluded from their family and community, and are in need of jobs. We deliver Bibles, disciple believers, and give micro-loans.
Please pray for more religious freedom and for Christians to continue to be bold in sharing the gospel.
Pray that the church will grow despite the threats that believers face each day.
Pray for Christians who have been rejected by their families because of their faith in Jesus.