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).

Baptist prisoner's family pressured to convert to Islam in Turkmenistan

OXFORD, England (BP)--The wife and children of Baptist prisoner Shageldy Atakov in Turkmenistan have been told by the local mullah, administration officials and officers of the country's political police, the KNB (former KGB), that they may not believe in Jesus Christ and must convert to Islam. According to a statement from local Baptists -- passed on to Keston News Service by the German-based Friedensstimme mission -- officials in the town of Kaakhka, close to Turkmenistan's southern border with Iran, also warned Atakov's wife, Artygyul, that the family home would be confiscated if Christians continue to meet there.

Baptist prisoner's family pressured to convert to Islam in Turkmenistan

The wife and children of Baptist prisoner Shageldy Atakov in Turkmenistan have been told by the local mullah, administration officials and officers of the country's political police, the KNB (former KGB), that they may not believe in Jesus Christ and must convert to Islam. According to a statement from local Baptists -- passed on to Keston News Service by the German-based Friedensstimme mission -- officials in the town of Kaakhka, close to Turkmenistan's southern border with Iran, also warned Atakov's wife, Artygyul, that the family home would be confiscated if Christians continue to meet there.

Turkmenistan deports last Russian Baptist missionary

23 May 2000 (Newsroom) -- Turkmen police have expelled the last remaining Russian Baptist missionary in the country, the Keston News Service reported. Authorities ordered the deportation of Vitali Tereshin in March, but the missionary went into hiding to continue his work. He was located in April by Turkmenistan's political police, the National Security Committee (KNB).

Saudi Arabia Once Again Leads the World in Christian Persecution...As Well As Oil Production

Saudi Arabia has once again taken the dubious distinction of being the country where Christians are more severely persecuted than any other in the world. This was revealed in the January 2001 release of the Open Doors "World Watch List" (WWL), which ranks countries according to their level of Christian persecution.