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 Berdymukhamedov, 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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Turkmenistan’s secret additions to already restrictive Religion Law

Turkmenistan’s secret additions to already restrictive Religion Law

It’s been over a year since the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan added further restrictions to its Religion Law, but the changes were introduced in such secrecy that few knew about them until well after the event. It wasn’t until January this year that regional news agency Forum 18 shed […]

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Turkmenistan President’s reelection ‘guaranteed’

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov secured a third term in office this week by winning a landslide election victory. As RFE/RL reports, “Berdymukhammedov maintains strict control over all aspects of society and was all but guaranteed to defeat the other eight candidates, who were widely seen as window dressing for 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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