From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Turkmenistan Refuses Registration of Bible Society

Date 08 Apr 2000 02:13:09

April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Turkmenistan Refuses Registration of local Bible Society

Ashgabad, Turkmenistan.     Despite meeting all 
the legal requirements, the application submitted 
by representatives of four church organisations to 
register a local Bible Society has been refused by 
the government of Turkmenistan, reports Compass 
Direct.  The rejected application was a 
collaborative effort by members of Baptist, 
Greater Grace, Pentecostal and Seventh-day 
Adventist Churches, confirmed a representative of 
the UK-based United Bible Society.

Turkmenistan is the only country of the former 
Soviet Union not to have an officially-recognised 
Bible Society, and it has recently demonstrated 
severe religious intolerance.

Harassment of Baptist and Adventist pastors 
continues, an Adventist church and Hare Krishna 
temple were destroyed, and three Baptist pastors 
and their families were forcibly deported from the 
country earlier this month. 

Although Bibles produced in the Turkmen language 
have been available in the country for some time, 
an Adventist pastor travelling from Tashkent in 
Uzbekistan to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan in October 
of 1998 had 1,300 Russian Bibles and other 
material confiscated by Turkmen officials. The 
Bible Society of Uzbekistan is still trying to 
recover the confiscated scriptures.

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