Turkmenistan Christians Tortured

Turkmenistan police investigating an accident in late November found a box full of Christian videos dubbed in the Turkmen language, which is illegal. Three church men and their pastor were arrested Compass Direct News Service reported. The men belong to a Protestant house church in Ashgabad. Linda Buckley, an American who lives in neighboring Kazahkstan and was in the car with the men, was questioned and released.

The men were subjected to "repeated sessions of beatings, electric shock, and suffocation to the point of blacking out," a witness told Compass. A judge ordered them to pay oppressive fines and they were forced to turn over the deeds to their homes and cars. Police later summoned the men back to the station for more torture and interrogation, Compass reported. "We have been promised more of the same," one said. Only the Russian Orthodox Church and Sunni Islam are recognized by the government, and Protestants have been severely persecuted. Turkmen-language Bibles and other Christian materials are illegal.