Area: 488,100 sq km
Two populated strips of irrigated land on its northern and southern borders, separated by the barren Kara-Kum Desert. Only 1% of the country is irrigated, arable land; 80% is desert.
Population: 5,176,502 Annual Growth: 1.34%
Official language: Turkmen using Latin script as in Turkey since 1994; previously Cyrillic script Languages: 9 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Hostility against any non-Orthodox Christian activity or even presence has persisted for over 10 years. Almost every foreign Christian has been expelled. Several national pastors have been exiled, beaten, heavily fined or imprisoned. Congregations continue to be intimidated and forbidden to meet. Registration is a difficult, near-impossible process, and when it does occur, it only subjects the church to greater surveillance. Pray for a softening of the attitude of the authorities, for courage for Christians in the country to stand firm and for Christians outside to pray and speak up against these hostile actions.
Expatriate Christians concerned for Turkmenistan continue to pray from a distance, mobilize and prepare for the day when the country is open again. Pray for openings for humanitarian organizations to operate and bless the people in ways both practical and spiritual. Expatriate Christians found to be doing religious training are expelled. Pray for the small handful of foreign Christians still in Turkmenistan that they might be delivered from harassment by secret police, that they might be able to continue to work in the country and that they might soon be joined by an increasing number of Christian workers.
For an additional 4 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Turkmenistan.