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TURKMENISTAN

#19
Region Central Asia
Leader President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Population 5 503 000
Christian 1.3%
Main Religion Islam
Government Presidential Republic
Rank 19
Score 68
Previous Rank 19
Previous Score 67

“When she kept following Jesus, she was forced to write a letter of resignation.”

Turkmenistan’s government has laws in place that severely restrict religious freedom. The indigenous church is young and small. Of the population, 96% are Muslim and less than 2% are Christian. Most Christians belong to ethnic minorities, mainly Russian. There are little cooperation and much division between the various denominations. This weakens the Church and makes it easier for the government to control.

Foreign missionary activity and religious organisations are outlawed. Border controls are strict, and it is difficult to get Christian material into Turkmenistan. Believers from a Muslim Background experience much pressure from family, friends and their local community. Relatives may use violence to make them turn back to Islam. Local police may also be involved in pressuring new Christians. Believers have been fired from their jobs when it became known they were Christian. Christian children and youth have been subject to slander and propaganda from their schools.

Open Doors provides immediate aid to Central Asian believers when they are jailed, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ. We also strengthen the persecuted Church in Central Asia primarily through: literature distribution, prayer support, biblical training, advocacy, presence ministry, vocational training, and socio-economic development projects.

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