Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most restrictive countries, and pressure on Christians is extremely high. Providing the country’s “spiritual guidance”, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his government wield control over religious institutions. Registering churches is nearly impossible, and those that defy registration risk raids, threats, arrests and fines. Even historical Orthodox churches are monitored. Importing or printing Christian materials is very restricted and literature is often confiscated.

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Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan want official registration

Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan want official registration

Six Evangelical churches in Turkmenistan have submitted a letter to President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, asking to be allowed to register as official religious communities. Following the adoption of a new Law on Religious Organisations and Religious Freedom in March 2016, all religious entities are required to re-register in order to operate […]

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Turkmenistan repressing religious freedom through ‘fines, raids and torture’

Hero statues at Ashgabat Independence Monument. City of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Fines, raids and police brutality are some of the trademarks of Turkmenistan’s repeated violations of religious freedom, according to the latest report by regional news agency Forum 18. Protestant Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims have all been repeatedly repressed, according to the report, despite the UN reiterating its concerns. “Turkmen […]

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Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games

Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) – and by virtue so too the International Olympic Committee – has come under fierce criticism for allowing Turkmenistan to stage the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, beginning this Sunday (17 September) in Ashgabat, while making “no visible efforts to urge the […]

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Turkmenistan: No change soon for religious minorities after Consitution amended

Turkmenistan: No change soon for religious minorities after Consitution amended

Turkmenistan has approved a constitutional amendment that will allow its President to rule for as long as he likes. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ruled Turkmenistan since 2006. His predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, died while still in office at the age of 66 – he was President for 21 years, during which time […]

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