BACKGROUND: Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic, has prospered economically because of its natural gas reserves and access to the Caspian Sea. Due to a long history of dictatorship, Turkmenistan remains closed and isolated. School children swear an oath of allegiance to the government every morning.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Most Turkmen identify as Muslim.
PERSECUTOR: The government persecutes evangelical Christians.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN TURKMENISTAN: Churches meet openly, but they are closely monitored. 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. VOM has helped families of imprisoned pastors in the past.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: A Turkmen Bible was recently published, but they are difficult to obtain.
VOM WORK: VOM distributes Christian literature throughout the country.