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A prisoner who was charged disproportionately because of his Christian faith has been released from prison after nearly three years behind bars. Umid Gojayev, 32, was freed through prisoner amnesty on February 17th. Turkmenistan's president signed a decree initiating the amnesty to mark the country's celebration of Flag Day.

The Christian man is now required to report to the local police on a weekly basis. Umid, who was charged with hooliganism in April of 2012, had been sentenced to four years in a labour camp. (For more information on his arrest, you can read a previous prayer alert.) After his release, Umid boarded a train for the two-day journey from Ashgabad to return to his wife and three young children in the northern city of Dashoguz.

Thank the Lord for this wonderful answer to prayer! May Umid's home now be filled with praise and rejoicing as his family enjoys being reunited at last. Pray that this trial will truly be over for Umid so he can live out his faith in freedom. Also ask the Lord to continue blessing the ministry of the church in Turkmenistan, equipping His people there to be 'salt' and 'light' among those who do not yet know Him.

For more information on the trials our Christian family endures in Turkmenistan, read our Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with project partners to help strengthen and equip husbands and wives who are serving in ministry in this region.

Project Funds: Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Population
5,579,889 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Turkmen (85), Uzbek (5), Russian (4), other (6)

Religion (%)
Islam (93), Christian (6.4)

Leader
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (2007)

Government type
Presidential republic; authoritarian

Legal system
Civil law system with Islamic law influences

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Turkmenistan

Pray that the Lord will give the suffering members of the church in Turkmenistan the strength and determination to stand firm amid opposition and oppression. May they be granted opportunities to meet together for meaningful times of worship, Bible study and fellowship – encouraging and edifying one another in the Christian faith. Despite governmental restrictions, and the threat of fine or imprisonment, may the church in Turkmenistan flourish and bear much good fruit.

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Turkmenistan News

  • Christmastime Raid
    Christians studying the Bible - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
    Pray that Turkmen believers will have opportunities to share God’s truths.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    A group of women who gathered on December 26th had their worship time disrupted by a police raid. The home was searched and cell-phones were confiscated. The women were forced to give legal statement

    ...
  • Christian Imprisoned for Faith Released!

    A prisoner who was charged disproportionately because of his Christian faith has been released from prison after nearly three years behind bars. Umid Gojayev, 32, was freed through prisoner amnesty on February 17th. Turkmenistan's president signed a decree initiating the amnesty to mark the country'

    ...
  • Christian Leader Fined Following Police Raid

    A Christian leader from Galkynysh in Lebap Region was recently fined two weeks' average local wages following a police raid. The authorities stopped Narmurad Mominov just as he left the home of a Christian family he had been visiting. Narmurad was ordered to stay at the home, where he and the other

    ...
  • Follower of Jesus Endures Detention for His Faith
    Umid Gojayev

    Umid Gojayev, a 30-year-old husband and father of three young children, is continuing to be held in detention because of his faith.

    In early 2012, Umid had an argument with four neighbours over access to a well where they live in Dashoguz. In the scuffle, Umid was forced to defend himse

    ...