Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Turkmenistan: 77yo church leader beaten - On Sunday, September 23, police and other unidentified officials raided the home of a Baptist family in the northern city of Dashoguz during a church meeting. 

The owner of the home, 77-year-old Begjan Shirmedov, was dragged from the house by his collar. About 15 church members were questioned and religious literature was seized. 

When Begian's wife, 68-year-old Kerime (Klara) Ataeva, complained about the mistreatment, authorities beat her hands until they bled. Earlier that month in the same city, police raided a religious meeting at a private home and fined three for violating the "law on religious organizations" for participating in an unregistered religious community. 

One of the fined Christians, Oleg Piyashev, visiting Turkmenistan from Russia at the time of the raid, was banned later Sept 23 from leaving Turkmenistan at the airport. Pray that they and other Christians facing opposition will continue to meet together to encourage one another. (Source: Forum 18 News Service)