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Journal of Global Justice & Public Policy Global Initiative Focus Nation: Turkmenistan

The Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy Global Initiative publishes bi-monthly reports targeting countries experiencing human rights violations. Each report briefly discusses that country’s history and population, and proffers specific prayer requests.

  • Ethnic Groups: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6%.
  • Languages: Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%.
  • Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%.
  • Population: 5,231,422.
  • Capital: Ashgabat. 


By the end of the 19th Century, the Russian Empire taken control of the region now encompassing Turkmenistan. However, the administration provoked revolts by the Turkmens. 

The Red Army took the capital in 1919, and in 1925 it formally became part of the USSR. Turkmenistan passed a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. 

Justice Issues

  • Turkmenistan is a signatory of various international human rights treaties, but has one of the worst records when it comes to fundamental civil and political freedoms.
  • Freedom House rated Turkmenistan as one of the 12 least free countries in the world, tying for the worst overall score of any nation.
  • The electoral system remains very corrupt and media access is tightly controlled by the government.
  • Religious liberty is also very limited as religious groups must register with the government to exist or act in accordance with the law. 
Prayer Requests (
  • Pray for new Bibles for house churches whose literature has been confiscated and destroyed.
  • Pray for open doors for humanitarian organizations to meet practical as well as spiritual needs.
  • Pray for governing authorities to abandon the strict policies controlling religious activity.