• Pray for the Turkmenistan government to continue its tough stance against terrorists.
  • Turkmenistan has a single-party system and was ruled by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov until December 21, 2006, when he died of cardiac arrest. Presidential elections were held on 11 February 2007. Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow was declared the winner with 89% of the vote. He was sworn in on February 14, 2007. Pray that Berdimuhammedow would be saved.
  • Persecution against Christians is on the increase―with leaders getting beaten up and any foreign Christians being forced to leave the country. Pray that Christians would stand firm in what they believe and speak out against injustice.
  • Pray for freedom of religion in Turkmenistan.


Find ministries and organizations working in Turkmenistan at Joshua Project | Turkmenistan.


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Population:   5,117,000
Total People Groups:  42
Unreached People Groups: 23
Region:  Central Asia
Official National Language: Turkmen 
Secondary National Language: Russian
Religions: Islam 95.2%, Christianity 2.7%, Non-Religious 2.0%
Persecution Ranking: 14
Percentage of People in Poverty: 58%

Turkmenistan, also known as Turkmenia, is a Turkic country in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the southwest, Uzbekistan to the northeast, Kazakhstan to the northwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. The center of the country is dominated by the Turan Depression and the Karakum Desert.

Muslims make up 91.8% of Turkmenistan’s population, while Christians comprise only 2.7%. Turkmenistan government officials exert stringent security control over the country. The government strictly controlled religious expression, and radical or extremist forms of Islam were not tolerated.

Turkmenistan is ranked No. 14 among nations that are the worst persecutors of Christians based on Open Doors 2007 “World Watch List.”  The constitution provides for freedom of religion and does not establish a state religion. However, in practice the Government continued to restrict all forms of religious expression. The government prohibits foreign missionary activity and foreign religious organizations; however, the law does not restrict the worship choices of foreigners.

Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors