Population: 5, 176, 502
Life Expectancy: 64.6 years
Dominant People Group: Turkic-94.5%
Income/person: $3,606 (8% of USA)
Percentage of Christians: 1.83%
Dominant Religion: Muslim-96.16%
*There is religious freedom constitutionally.
Only 1% of the country is irrigated, arable land. Most of its economy is based on the unexploited oil and gas fields. The country is dangerously dependent on the Amu Darya River. Unstable politics-formally been under communist rule.
Answers to Prayers:
1-The demise of the man who built himself up as a god-king, who wrote his own “Holy Book” and named himself Turkmenbashi, “the father of all Turkmen”, brings what is hopefully the beginning of transformation.
2-The atmosphere of the country is experiencing positive change. Two Protestant churches have recently been allowed to officially register and meet publicly.
How to Pray:
1-The new government and leadership face difficult decisions about continuing the former communist leader’s legacy, about domestic policies and about the awkward relationships with Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. Pray for godly wisdom for the new leader, for a departure from oppressive policies of the past and for the respect of the constitutionally guaranteed human rights and religious freedom.
2-Ethnic Turkmen Christians are few but have increased since independence, from one or two to as many as 1,000. Pray for these believers to stand firm in their faith and to win others to Christ.
3-Hostility against any non-Orthodox Christian activity or even presence has persisted for over 10 years. Pray for a softening of the attitude towards authorities, for courage for Christians in the country to stand firm, and for Christians outside to pray and speak up against these hostile actions.
4-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.
5-Pray for witness by other means:
a). The Turkmen NT was published in 1994, but requires editing and revision.
b). Christian radio programming commenced in Turkmen in 2001. Pray for all involved in producing and airing these programs. Thank God for Christian broadcasts in Russia on satellite TV.
c). The JESUS film, video, and audio tapes are available in Turkmen, and it has been occasionally shown on national TV. Pray for the lasting impact of this film and other Christian audio and video resources.
6. The diaspora. The Turkmen live in many surrounding lands. Pray for the fruitfulness of these ministries and for similar work among the almost completely unevangelized Turkmen in the surrounding countries.
*All info from Jason Mandryk’s Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation*