Kabul faces blackout as Taliban fails to pay the bills

Afghanistan’s capital could be plunged into darkness as the winter sets in because the country’s new Taliban rulers haven’t paid Central Asian electricity suppliers or resumed collecting money from consumers.

Religious Freedom Report: 14 nations are “Countries of Particular Concern”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) published its 2021 Annual Report earlier this month, redesignating 10 nations as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and recommending to the State Department that India, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam now be given that designation as well.

Church fire under investigation in Turkmenistan

Some churches in Turkmenistan have literally come under fire after the Baptist House of Prayer in Turkmenbashi was recently razed, according to Slavic Gospel Association spokesman Joel Griffith.

Crackdown On Evangelicals In Central Asian States

Authorities in three Central Asian nations have launched a crackdown on evangelical Protestant churches and several believers are reportedly mistreated, fined and detained.

Uzbek Christians Suffer as Regime Tightens Noose

At least four incidents of Christian persecution were reported from the former Soviet country of Uzbekistan this week. According to an analysis and report researched and written by Fernando Perez for the World Evangelical Alliance – Religious Liberty Commission, a Christian woman was beaten into concussion, another woman was fined $1,465 by a court for giving the New Testament to a child, a Christian man was threatened with axe attack by a police official and another man was assaulted by police.

US and Rights Group Condemn Uzbekistan’s Crackdown on Christians

Human rights officials in Europe and the United States expressed concern Wednesday, May 3, over the persecution of Christians in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, nearly a year after hundreds of people died when security forces opened fire on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Uzbek Television Slanders Protestant Church

A so-called “documentary” televised regionally in Uzbekistan last summer has left entire communities convinced that a Protestant congregation is an “extremist” group worse than fundamentalist Islam.

Iranian Christians Mourn Martyred Convert

Iranian Christians are mourning the death of Ghorban Dordi Tourani, an Iranian believer assassinated two weeks ago by an unnamed group of fanatical Muslims and the first Turkmen in Iran known to have been martyred for his Christian faith.

Turkmenistan: Religious Minorities Effectively Banned

It was back in 1999 that the Turkmenistan government declared its intention to “strangle minority faiths. All foreign Christians were expelled and the persecution of national believers, especially ethnic Turkmen, intensified intolerably.

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).

Kazakstan Christians Persecuted and Fined

ASTANA / BUDAPEST , (ANS) — Leaders and other believers of non registered Baptist and Evangelical churches in the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan are experiencing a new period of persecution by central authorities, reports said Monday July 1.

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.

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