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Turkmenistan: Christian Under Fire

Authorities have threatened to seize the property of a formerly imprisoned Christian unless he pays a large sum of money they claim he acquired illegally in 1995, according to Forum 18 News.

Shageldy Atakov was imprisoned in 1999 on charges of swindling another individual out of US$12,000 during a car deal. Atakov and other local Christians maintain that the charges were fabricated in order to stop his Christian activity. While in detention at the Seydi Labor Camp, Atakov was beaten repeatedly, received inadequate medical attention, poor diet and given psychotropic [mind-altering] drugs for refusing to abandon his faith. He was released in January 2002. He served the full prison sentence, thus he is already cleared of the alleged debt now being demanded by authorities.

On April 29, a local official visited his home in order to assess the value of their property and examine ownership documents. Pray that all false allegations against Atakov cease. VOM encourages you to pray for strength and protection for Atakov and his family. Pray that Christians facing trials in Turkmenistan will remember that they will be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which they are suffering.

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