Story number 2 for 25 Jun 2002

By June 25, 2002

(Turkmenistan)–We turn next to Turkmenistan, where the country’s president is enforcing an anti-corruption campaign, in an effort to clean up the country’s image. Turkmenistan has remained isolated and unreformed since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Bible Mission International’s Paul Hagelgamns says that isolation has cost the church dearly. “Basically, they destroyed all churches; they kicked out all believers, and they told [them] no more than two or three persons can come together. It’s amazing to see how they’re still alive spiritually. Yes, there’s a problem, but they’re really active in ministry in Turkmenistan.” Hagelgamns says the government effectively bans all religious communities from carrying out any religious activity. However: “They’re again gathering; it doesn’t matter, the cost for them. They’re again doing evangelism. There was a new repentance and baptism service, and they chose their leaders-it was illegally, but the church is still alive, even though it’s underground.”

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