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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The demise of the man who built himself up as a god-king, wrote his own Holy Book and named himself Turkmenbashi, the father of all Turkmen, brings what is hopefully the beginning of transformation. It is still early to pass judgment, but there is a greater sense of hope about openness and positive change from the repressive personality cult of the past.
Ethnic Turkmen Christians are few but have increased since independence, from one or two people to as many as 1,000. Most Christians are Russian, Ukrainian or Armenian; among them are a thousand or so evangelical believers. Persecution has brought growth, greater unity and a strong spirituality, and the Church continues to grow despite the constant threats. Pray for these believers to stand firm in their faith and to win others to Christ.
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.