Each Tuesday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:
Turkmenistan. 5.3 million people with 94,700 Christians.
The regime of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov continues to restrict the freedom of religion, and Christian converts from a Muslim background are facing many problems from their family, friends and community. The uncertain economic prospects, the fear of an influx of Islamic jihadists and the almost total state control will remain important factors in the future. In the past year, the oppression of Christians has been constant. (World Watch List)
(1) For Muslim Background Believers who have hardly any freedom to practice their faith
(2) That the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Turkmen government towards Christians, so that they will be receptive to the gospel
(3) That radio broadcasts and biblical materials will be made available to believers without government intervention.
Turkmenistan has the smallest population and is the most closed country of the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Though it has a vast amount of natural gas reserves, the majority of the population remains impoverished. Freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed in Turkmenistan, but in practice it is limited to Sunni Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. Foreigners suspected of religious activity are expelled…The publication of religious literature inside the country is banned. The government controls Internet access and has shut down cellphone service. No unregistered religious groups or communities are allowed, and religious communities have been unable to register for years. However, both registered and unregistered religious groups face police raids and other harassment. Unregistered congregations are prohibited from gathering publicly, proselytizing or disseminating religious materials. Participants in house church services have been beaten, fined, had their personal property and businesses seized and faced salary reductions. Authorities have also warned Christians that their children will be kept under close scrutiny in school. A Turkmen Christian arrested over a brawl in 2012 has been passed by for amnesty multiple times and remains in jail because “he reads a Bible.” (The Voice of Martyrs)
Today, I prayed:
Lord, I pray Your grace and mercy is multiplied to Turkmenistan believers so that their knowledge of God and of Jesus is greatly increased. (Based on 2 Peter 1:2)
Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.