Wednesday, 22 January 2014

TURKMENISTAN: "Singing About God Here is Banned" 

Date of Bulletin: 15 January 2014

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Police and Ministry of State Security (MSS) secret police recently raided the homes of two Christians who attend Light of the East Church in Dashoguz, Turkmenistan. The authorities seized religious literature, including personal Bibles, and threatened one believer with a 15-day jail term and deportation, even though he is a Turkmen citizen.

One raid occurred during a music rehearsal for the following Sunday's worship service. Officials stated that "singing about God here is banned." They also threatened to revoke the church's registration, thus making it illegal. A state religious affairs official, who is also an imam, pressured the church's pastor, Yuri Rozmetov, to become a Muslim because the Christian faith "is wrong."

Individuals and communities are increasingly faced with fines for exercising their freedom of religion or belief. Officials have refused to discuss the cases with Forum 18.

Please Pray!

  • Pray that Christians in Turkmenistan will stand firm in their faith and that they will find favour with Turkmen officials.
  • Pray that the church will not lose its registration and that members will be able to meet freely and without government interference.
  • Pray for the salvation of Turkmen lawmakers and enforcers.

"Having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil." 1 Pet. 3:16-17

Voice Of the Martyrs provides Christian literature and other means of assistance for believers in Turkmenistan.

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