Church Raid by Turkmen Police
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
MAGDANLY, TURKMENISTAN (ANS) -- The leader of a prominent ministry that helps Evangelical Christians and churches in Russia and the former Soviet Union, has revealed that he has received some news from the former Soviet nation of Turkmenistan that he says needs "urgent prayer."
Bob Provost, President of the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), says that it all began with a recent raid on the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB) Church in the town of Magdanly, Turkmenistan, a country in central Asia, followed by a key Turkmen pastor having a serious automobile accident.
"The UECB church raid happened about 25 days ago," he said. "All adult believers at the meeting were questioned about their faith and all of their Christian literature was confiscated. After two weeks of fervent prayer by the Turkmen believers, God answered their prayers and all the confiscated literature was returned to them."
Provost went on to say, "As is always the case in these Muslim-dominated and oppressed nations, the local believers are rejoicing for the great opportunity they had to witness to the local authorities about Christ. But the enemy quickly threw up another attempt to hinder the Gospel. The national church leader overseeing this region was involved in a car accident late last week and his car was totaled. It was not his fault, but the other driver who was at fault has no insurance and no money to pay.
"I am withholding the name of the pastor for security reasons. He cannot conduct his ministry without a car, and he needs at least $8,000 to purchase a reliable used one. He is hopeful of finding $1,000 on his own, but he is very concerned. His responsibilities require him to travel regularly throughout the country to visit all the churches and developing groups, and in Turkmenistan, all ministry must be conducted very discreetly due to government opposition to Evangelical churches.
"If anyone is able to help, please let me know. It is our final month of the fiscal year and we are already under great pressure. Please pray for this faithful brother and for the oppressed believers of Turkmenistan. Also, please join with us in prayer for a full time pastor for the zealous church in Mangdanly."
Note: Since 1934, SGA has been serving evangelical churches, helping make disciples of the people in the lands of Russia for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through prayer, strategic ministry and financial assistance.