» 12/21/2013, 00.00
Ashgabat , imams, police and intelligence services ban Bibles and Christian songs
Official of the Department of Religious Affairs, the imam of a local mosque , says that Christianity is "a mistake , not a religion but a myth." And warns people to convert to Islam . "Songs of praise to God" also banned. Jehovah's Witness sentenced to 18 months in prison for crimes of opinion and defense of religious freedom.
AsiaNews/F18 ) - Police and Secret Service agents in Dashoguz , a city in the
north of Turkmenistan , have carried out a raid against a group of believers of
the "Church of the Light of the East" , a local Protestant community
forces raided two houses of prayer, and confiscated religious materials
including Bibles . An
official of the Department of Religious Affairs, who is also an imam at the
local mosque , turned to the pastor of the Pentecostal community stating that
his faith " is wrong" and warned him to convert to Islam . "Christianity
is a mistake - added the Muslim leader - it's not a religion, but a myth."
police also threatened a Turkmen believer to 15 days in prison and deportation.
a group practicing hymns for Sunday service, the officers stated that "
the songs of praise to God are banned here".
Norwegian Forum 18 news website ,
committed to documenting violations of religious freedom in Central Asia ,
reports that the number and scope of fines against individuals and communities
who want to exercise their right to religious freedom has increased. The
restrictions on the practice of faith is even targeting Muslims - the vast
majority in the country - with the state that continues to limit the number of
visas granted to the faithful who wish to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
community of Eastern Pentecostal Church of Light has obtained official
registration in April 2005 and was one of the first state recognized realities that
was not Muslim or Russian Orthodox to be able to worship outside of the capital
Ashgabat . However,
in recent weeks, the faithful have been the subject of repeated raids by the authorities
and the secret police, with threats of arrests and the seizure of religious
materials . During
one of these operations in a private home, the agents claimed that " it is
forbidden to sing hymns to God ," and without identifying themselves ,
they have seized the book of songs and brought the members of the community in
for "investigations " .
an increasing number of people are being incarcerated for crimes of opinion and
defense of religious freedom. News
has emerged in recent days of a Jehovah's Witness being sentenced to to 18
months' imprisonment. Suhrab
Rahmanberdiyyev, who has just turned 18 is the ninth conscientious objector to
end up in prison, where he was beaten and abused because he refused to declare
himself a Muslim and convert to Islam.
Appeal denied for Ilmurad Nurliev, Pentecostal pastor convicted by false evidence
Sentenced to four years for fraud, in a closed door trial, access denied to diplomats, his wife complains that the witnesses testimony was false. Fears he will be sent to a labour camp that forcibly administers psychotropic substances for Christian prisoners. Now his last hope is international mobilization.
Christian in prison for apostasy secretly released in Kabul
Sayed Mussa risked the death penalty for leaving Islam and embracing Christianity. Perhaps the man has already been smuggled out of the country. For months Western diplomatic have sought to secure his release. Another Christian convert still in prison.
Iranian Protestant pastor, held in prison for months, risks death penalty for apostasy
Youcef Nadarkhani's wife was released a few days ago after four months of detention. The arrest comes as evangelical Christians complain of increased pressure against them, an unprecedented persecution since the advent of the ayatollahs' regime.
Indian Kashmir: Christians arrested for "promoting enmity"
According to police Mafford Maharaj Singh, 62, and his wife Kusum, 60, were distributing Christian pamphlets disturbing the local population. Denial of the children: "They were in Srinagar for a wedding. A vendor found out their faith, insulted them and denounced them. "They risk three to five years in prison.
Egypt, 15 years in prison for mother and seven children, converts to Christianity
The case concerns Nadia Mohamed Ali, a mother of eight children, born Christian, but converted to Islam to marry her husband. After his death, she decides to return to her original religion with her children. The authorities accuse her of having changed names on documents to skip procedure.
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CHINA - UNITED STATES
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