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Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1924 and won its independence in 1991. While Kyrgyzstan’s government is secular, it has implemented harsh laws that restrict the ability for Christians and other religious minorities, including Ahmadi Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses, and Hare Krishna communities, to register their places of worship. Law requires that a church has 200 members to be granted official registration or else Kyrgyzstan's State Commission for Religious Affairs denies the church the right to legally exist. Only three Russian Orthodox churches – no Protestant or Catholic congregations – have gained registration since the repressive Religion Law came into force in January 2009. Moreover, Christians are not allowed to worship in houses or public locations, but only in designated church buildings. In addition, evangelistic literature, including Bibles, is not allowed to be distributed in the country.