HC Deb 15 July 2003 vol 409 c260W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Turkmenistan concerning raids made by the authorities on Baptist church services. [125836]

Mr. Rammell

Our Embassy in Ashgabat have made representations to the Turkmen government expressing our concern about the issue of raids on Baptist church services and harrassment of unregistered religious groups in Turkmenistan. We expressed the hope that no such further actions will be taken against peaceful congregations of an entirely religious character.

The Turkmen authorities are well aware of our concerns on religious freedom issues, including the fact that only two denominations (Sunni Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church) have secured registration, despite others having reportedly fulfilled all necessary procedures.

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