9/10/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Turkmenistan – Population: 5.9 million Christians: 70,500
Turkmenistan is wholly ruled by its president, who seeks to tightly control every aspect of daily life, including religious worship. Nearly 95 percent of the population of Turkmenistan practices Islam, about 3 percent belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church, and only 0.1 percent is evangelical Christian. While most citizens are Muslim, their affiliation is largely cultural rather than devoutly religious—the government mostly seeks to build a cult of personality around its president. Christian gatherings are monitored, printing Christian materials is illegal, and unregistered churches risk constant raids and jail time for congregants and church leaders.
Ever since a new law on religion was introduced in April 2016, Christians have experienced tighter controls on church life . Police, secret services and local authorities monitor religious activities and regularly attend church services. Even Sunday services of Russian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches may be monitored.
Religion is so strictly regulated in this nation that it is currently ranked number 19 on the World Watch List of countries with severe persecution of Christians. The government requires censorship of all religious literature, and religious organizations are required to register with the authorities and report on any foreign support they receive. Registered religious groups must have at least five but fewer than 50 members, and religious organizations must have at least 50 members.
Almost all of the Christian activity in Turkmenistan takes place underground, and Christian leaders are frequently imprisoned for their live under the reality that their home could be raided at any time by the authorities searching for Christian literature. Some families worship together in secret. If the government hears of a Turkmen coming to Christ, the new believer faces immediate pressure. It’s also difficult for believers to travel out of the country for Christian training or encouragement. NGOs have helped families of imprisoned pastors in the past.
· Please pray that God would be at work in the hearts of Turkmenistan’s government leaders so that they would be motivated to put an end to corruption and religious persecution.
· Pray for protection of the house churches in Turkmenistan. Secret house churches are increasingly the targets of police and authorities. In most areas, public worship is out of the question. Pray believers find ways to gather together and encourage each other.
· Evangelizing is a punishable offense in the country. Pray for both boldness and discernment to share the gospel despite the legal consequences.
· Pray for believers that have converted from Islam and now experience fierce pressure to return to Islam. Pray for protection and endurance.
· Please pray for safety and courage for Christians, particularly, church leaders, who face harsh religious persecution every day.
· Please pray that NGOs will continue to expand so that even more young leaders can be prepared for effective ministry in their own nation.
· Please pray that God would grow the Church throughout Turkmenistan so that He may be glorified, even in the midst of persecution.
· Pray that Turkmen Bibles, which were recently published, and are difficult to obtain will become easily available.
· Pray for protection of NGO’s who convert support to believers
· Pray that the strong Christian messages on the internet that will encourage believers and let Muslims see and understand the Good News.
· Pray to the Lord that He will build His house, the church who belongs to Him. That the prince of darkness will be powerless to prevent the church from expanding extraordinarily.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for
• Leah Sharibu and Alice, prisoners of Boko Haram, pray that they will be set free.
• Pray pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison
• Pray for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran.
You are invited to join us on Thursday, September 10th in a prayer call for the persecuted church.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Moderator
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.
The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.
With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.
Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.
If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.
Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.
Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.