Persecution Update, April 2017: Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan ranks among the top twenty countries that persecute Christians and remains one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Evangelical believers number less than 2,000 in that Central Asian nation and are suffering under a combination of an old-style Soviet dictatorship and an overwhelmingly Islamic religious system. The late President Niyazov (1985-2006) began a strong personality-driven cult based on his book, the religious text Ruhnama (“The Book of the Soul”), which was given equal status as the Quran. In this environment, evangelistic activities, Christian literature, and unregistered churches are all illegal. Christians face loss of jobs, pastors have been beaten and imprisoned, and great pressure is applied to Muslim-background believers to return to Islam. Please pray for God’s grace for faithful believers as they face persecution for the sake of the Cross.