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(Forum 18) – Turkmenistan has, as part of an apparent policy of keeping religious believers isolated, denied permission for a group of Seventh Day Adventists to visit the country, Forum 18 News Service has learnt, despite the fact that their invitation came from Turkmenistan ‘s registered Adventist church.

Other religious communities facing obstacles in visiting co-religionists include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hare Krishna devotees, ethnic Uzbek Muslims, and the Armenian Apostolic Church . The head of Uzbekistan ‘s Bible Society has also been denied entry, as was the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. The only religious community to have unimpeded travel to Turkmenistan is the Russian Orthodox Church.