Issue 3, Article 13, 9 March 2000

Immediate reporting on violations of religious liberty and on religion in
communist and post-communist lands.

Friday 9 March 2000

by Felix Corley, Keston News Service

In its attempts to crush religious activities by congregations loyal to the
Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians/Baptists, the Turkmen political
police, the KNB, has told two further Baptist families that they will be deported
from the country on Monday 13 March.

KNB officers came to the homes of the SENKIN and SHULGIN families in the
south eastern town of Mary today, 10 March, to inform them of the decision,
according to news from the Church in Turkmenistan reaching the
Friedensstimme Mission in Germany. The KNB had already confiscated their
passports several weeks earlier.

Although Keston News Service has been unable to verify the latest report, the
Council of Churches has a long track record of reliable reporting.

Both families - who came to Turkmenistan from elsewhere in the former Soviet
Union in the wake of the country's independence in 1991 - wish to remain in
the country and continue their religious work. Both families had their homes
searched by the KNB in early February at the time ARTYGUL ATAKOVA,
wife of the Baptist prisoner SHAGELDY ATAKOV, was forcibly removed
from the town with her children and sent to the town of Kaakhka. Atakova had
been staying with the Shulgin family in Mary before being removed.

The Turkmen authorities deported two other Baptist pastors and their wives in
December 1999. (END)