Praise and Prayer

Pray: The wife and children of a Christian man jailed for his faith in Turkmenistan have been told that they must not believe in Jesus Christ and must convert to Islam. "[The officials in the town of Kaakhka] forced her to convert to the Muslim faith and insisted that she write a statement dictated by a KNB officer," other believers wrote. "They insisted she give her children over to the school, where attention is mainly focused on reading the oath [of loyalty to the president and country] and kissing the flag." They then issued the threat to confiscate her home if members of her unregistered Baptist church continue to meet there. The church-whose activities the Turkmen authorities claim are illegal-is a member of the

Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians/Baptists, which rejects registration in all the former Soviet republics where it operates. The woman, Artygyul Atakova, and her five children have been left without a breadwinner since the arrest of her husband, Shageldy, in December, 1998.

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