Christian Children interrogated about their Faith.
19 Apr 2003
TURKMENISTAN. 15 April 2003. Turkmenistan's secret police, the National Security Committee, have been taking Christian children from their classrooms and interrogating them about "internal church life and their Christian education in their families" in the city of Balkanabad, western Turkmenistan according to Forum 18 News Service.
Following their interrogation the children were banned from attending church services and the older ones threatened with prison. Despite the services being unregistered with the government, which requires all religious groups of 500 adults or more to officially register, their attendance is not technically illegal. Therefore, this is a worrying incident for Christians in western Turkmenistan. The interrogations followed a raid on the children's local church on 16 March by police and officials. Another raid took place on a church service in a private flat on 1 April. At this latter meeting the authorities threatened to confiscate from the owner the flat where they met for worship.