Authorities in three Central Asian nations have launched a crackdown on evangelical Protestant churches and several believers are reportedly mistreated, fined and detained.
Protestant Pastor Ilmurad Nurliev's trial is slated for Oct. 21, nearly two months after his arrest on charges of large-scale swindling.
The wife of an imprisoned Protestant pastor appealed to international observers -- including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe -- to attend any future trial if her husband's investigation reaches that stage.
A Pentecostal pastor remained in police custody Tuesday, August 31, in Turkmenistan where he faces five years imprisonment and confiscation of properties for "large-scale swindling", charges his wife and church members strongly deny, rights activists said.
Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliev was to receive for signing the final version of controversial legislation "limiting freedom of religion" while Christians elsewhere in Central Asia faced similar restrictions Saturday, May 16, rights investigators and local believers said.
Two Baptist pastors in two neighboring former Soviet republics faced detention and deportation Tuesday, December 4, amid an increased crackdown on evangelical churches in the region, BosNewsLife learned.
A Baptist pastor in Turkmenistan who was released after spending eights months of a three-year labor camp sentence faced new problems Sunday, November 25, amid pressure from authorities to stop his worship services.
There was international concern Tuesday, August 14, about the fate of two detained Baptist leaders in the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
A Russian Baptist Pastor spent another Sunday, August 5, without his family after he was deported from Turkmenistan for his church activities, fellow Christians and human rights watchers said.
Evangelical Christians in the ex-Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were on edge Saturday, May 6, ahead of Sunday worship services as security forces in both countries reportedly raided church gatherings and threatened believers, including children, while confiscating Bibles.
Baptists in Turkmenistan faced another difficult Sunday, July 31, after a private home where they gathered regularly was stormed by police who beat the handicapped host with her own Bible and threatened to hang her, human rights activists reported.
Persecuted Christians in Turkmenistan began an uncertain week Monday, March 15, after autocratic President Saparmurat Niyazov announced he would allow all religious communities "to gain official registration" regardless of how many members they have.