Turkmenistan Atakov Freed from Prison, but Pressure Continues

Turkmenistan's most prominent religious prisoner, the Baptist Shageldy Atakov, has been freed before the end of his four-year sentence, Keston News Service has learnt. The US-based Russian Evangelistic Ministries and the German-based Friedensstimme Mission, which maintain close ties with Baptists in the former Soviet republics, have both confirmed that Atakov was released from prison in the Caspian port city of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk) early on 8 January and has now been reunited with his wife Artygul and five children in the town of Kaakhka close to Turkmenistan's southern border with Iran. "Jesus has given me a Christmas gift," Atakov was quoted as saying (many Christians in the region celebrate Christmas on 7 January).

Azerbaijan: Baptist Liquidation Hearing Postponed

The hearing in the case to liquidate the Love Baptist Church in the Azerbaijani capital Baku was postponed yesterday (23 January), the church's pastor Sary Mirzoyev told Keston News Service from Baku. The Narimanov district court had been due to hear the suit, brought by Rafik Aliev, chairman of the State Committee for Relations with Religious Organisations, in the afternoon of 23 January (see KNS 18 January 2002) but the court agreed to the defendant's request to postpone the hearing because of ill health. Yahya Mamedov, the church's deacon and administrator, suffers from diabetes. No date has yet been set for a new hearing, but it is likely to be in about ten days' time.

Is A Vote For Gore A Vote For The Antichrist?

Let me state flatly that I do not believe Al Gore is the Antichrist. But millions of conservatives around the world, religious and non-religious, are concerned with the United Nations earth-centered one-world environmentalism supported by such as he. Al Gore has suggested that his resume makes him better prepared for the White House than Bill Clinton was in 1992. Apocalyptically speaking, he may be right. Gore's resume, especially as outlined in his book Earth in the Balance, contributes to an ominous, if not prophetic, global vision of the near future.