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Kazakhstan

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

 

Religious Freedom in Kazakhstan is a Farce

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Kazakhstan is a country that proudly proclaims that their citizens have the right to religious freedom. However, in action, this freedom is regularly infringed upon and religious minorities, especially Christians systematically experience persecution. Things have been steadily getting worse, as this religious freedom survey so aptly portrays.

Kazakhstan: Claims of Relgious Freedom A Farce

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Kazakhstan is a country that proudly proclaims that their citizens have the right to religious freedom. However, in action, this freedom is regularly infringed upon and religious minorities, especially Christians systematically experience persecution. Things have been steadily getting worse, as this religious freedom survey so aptly portrays.

Kazakh Pastor Released from Prison

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Kazakh Christian in Detention After Attempting to Leave Country for Religious Conference

Friday, February 14th, 2014

When a well-known Pastor in Kazakhstan attempted to board a plane to the US with his wife to attend a religious conference, government agents intervened and threw them into detention, which is just "another example of growing government restrictions against religious freedom."

Pastor Kashkumbayev’s Trial Full of Highs and Lows

Friday, February 7th, 2014

As Pastor B. Kashkumbayev's trial continues both positive developments and hindrances are mixed together.

Pastor’s Criminal Trial Resumes in Kazakhstan

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Pastor Kashkumbayev's criminal trial resumed today, with further hearings scheduled for the rest of this week. While the charges of "extremism" were dropped, charges for harming the health of a parishioner were not.  The person who's health was supposedly harmed has stated numerous times that the Kashkumbayev did no such thing and that she is healthy and fine. Despite this, the trial will continue. 

Baptist in Kazakhstan Jailed for Attending Worship Meeting

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

A nineteen-year-old Baptist man was fined for attending a worship meeting without permission from the government. As a matter of principle he opted for civil disobedience and refused to pay the fines. "Council of Churches Baptists think such fines are wrong, as neither Kazakhstan's Constitution nor the country's international human rights obligations allow punishments for exercising human rights without state permission." As punishment, the man was sentenced to 10 days in prison.

Innocent Pastor in Central Asia Remains in Detention Despite Charges Dropped

Friday, January 24th, 2014

International Christian Concern (ICC) has just learned that charges of “propagating extremism” against 67-year-old Presbyterian Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev were dropped by a court in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, late Wednesday. The pastor’s eight month-long detention and harsh treatment has drawn heavy criticism of Kazakhstan’s government from international human rights organizations, including ICC.

Bibles and Icons Confiscated from Bookstore in Kazakhstan

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Twelve icons and three Bibles were confiscated from a bookstore in Kazakhstan and have not yet been returned. "The Kazakh state must defend our citizens from harmful materials," an official said. The bookstore owner faces an administrative case and heavy fines.

Bibles and Icons Confiscated from Bookstore in Kazakhstan

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Twelve icons and three Bibles were confiscated from a bookstore in Kazakhstan and have not yet been returned. "The Kazakh state must defend our citizens from harmful materials," an official said. The bookstore owner faces an administrative case and heavy fines.

All Religious Books Are Illegal in Kazakhstan

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

In Kazakhstan all religious books are considered illegal unless a court deems them legal. However, at the same time there is a supposed list of "illegal" books that no one has ever seen. This leaves Christians and people of faith always wondering if the Bible, Christian book or religious object they have is legal .

Will Conference on Religion in Kazakhstan Result in Positive Changes?

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

On 5-6 December, the Institute for Global Engagement, together with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, held a conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan on “Religion, Security and Citizenship in Central Asia.” The conference was the second in the “Religion, Security and Citizenship in Central Asia” series.

Kazakhstan: Religion Law Brings Increasing Crackdowns over Religious Freedom

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

"It used to be [that] in Kazakhstan you were relatively free to minister and proclaim the Gospel. But as we've seen with the other Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan in recent years has really been cracking down on this."

Is the Bible ‘Extremist’ Literature in Kazakhstan?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The arrest and detention of Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev (Pastor BK), release, and subsequent rearrest for violating the nations "extremism" laws has shone an international spotlight on these bizarre statutes. Norway's Forum 18 provides an overview and analysis of these laws which seems to indicate that actions and literature prohibited as "extremist" in nature are entirely subjective and subject to abusive interpretation by Kazakh authorities. ICC considers Pastor BK's situation to be one example of the Alamty's regime's abuse of this vague statute for political purposes, and encourages the reader to take action to demand his release by visiting this page

At Least 146 Fines in 2013 for Practicing Religion in Kazakhstan

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The exercise of religion in Kazakhstan comes with a very real price. According to a recent report from Forum 18, the fines against individuals for exercising their religious beliefs without state permission has totaled more than $118,000. There have been 119 individuals who have been fined, some of them on multiple occasions. The average of the fines has been equivalent to approximately two months average salary. The fines have been handed down to a wide range of religious groups and for varying reasons, but it has clearly demonstrated that the freedom of religion is severely restricted in Kazakhstan.

Innocent Pastor Imprisoned and Tortured by U.S. Ally

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Bakhytzhat Kashkumbayev (Pastor B.K.), a Christian pastor, has been wrongly imprisoned and tortured by the government of Kazakhstan for his Christian activities, including his role in the conversion of a young congregant from Islam to Christianity. Laughably, he was initially accused of lacing her communion wine with hallucinogens.

At Least Twelve People in 2013 Fined for Selling Religious Literature in Kazakhstan

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Religious affairs officials are cracking down on individuals selling religious literature without a state license. Nine of the twelve fines handed down in 2013 cost the average of two months’ salary. Amongst those affected by these, laws, raids and fines are Christians and Muslims.

KAZAKHSTAN: Baptist faces one year in jail, Hare Krishna community ordered halted for three months

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Baptist pastor Leonov of Kazakhstan was sent to prison for refusing to pay a fine for leading a religious community without government permission. The Council of Baptist Churches in Kazakhstan have a policy of refusing to pay fines imposed for meeting for worship etc.  If the pastor continues to refuse to pay, he could go to prison for a year.

Nigeria Has World’s Largest Christian Minority

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation. While Christians and Muslims have generally coexisted peacefully, an Islamist insurgency in the North has subjected a great many of Nigeria's Christians to persecution. The  Pew Research study referenced here indicates that Nigeria may hold the largest number of persecuted Christians on Earth.


Kazakh Police Intimidate and Harass Parishioners of Imprisoned Pastor

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

International Christian Concern (ICC) has recently learned that police in Astana, Kazakhstan have been aggressively intimidating and harassing members of the beleaguered Grace Protestant Church. The church’s 67-year-old pastor, Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev (Pastor B.K.), was detained by Kazakh authorities in May as part of a nationwide crackdown on religious minorities.

ICC President Interviewed Regarding Mistreated Kazakh Pastor

Friday, October 18th, 2013

As things get worse for Pastor Kashkumbayev, the international community is speaking up. Watch this four minute video as Gary Lane of CBN interviews ICC president, Jeff King regarding this case. You’ll hear new information and learn how YOU can make a difference.

Life for Christians in Kazakhstan About to Get Even Worse

Friday, October 18th, 2013

With the implementation of the Religion Law in 2011, life for Christians in Kazakhstan has become increasingly difficult and dangerous. The case of Pastor Kashkumbayev is just one example. However, it seems that the government is about to put even more focus on “curbing religious extremism” which will put all religious groups (Christians, Muslim sects etc) at high risk for their rights to religious freedom to be infringed upon.

Ukrainian Christians Address Kazakhstan Ambassador in Support of Grace Church Pastor

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists (AUCECB) has sent a letter the the Kazakhstan Ambassador asking for a just court decision for Pastor Kashkumbayev. It is great to see that Christians around the world are supporting his case. He is truly not alone.  If you want to get involved on his behalf, CLICK HERE to see how you help.

New Details on Pastor Kashkumbayev’s Re-arrest on Extremism Charges

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

“The treatment of Pastor Kashkumbayev is appalling. His rights to religious freedom have been violated time and time again. It is clear that he is merely a scapegoat for the government who has wrongfully imprisoned him and continue to harm his health." Read this full article for further details on Pastor Kashkumbayev’s re-arrest and what charges of “extremism” could mean (possibly seven years in prison).  Also, check out this video to see his reunion with his wife, who he hadn’t seen since his arrest in May.

Government Continues Mental Torture of Pastor as Court Frees and Immediately Re-Arrests Him

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Back to Prison: Pastor Kashkumbaev Immediately Taken Back into Custody

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Pastor Kashkumbayev was released from prison and to house arrest, but before he could get home he was re-arrested; this time on charges of extremism under article 233 of the criminal code. An ICC source in Kazakhstan says: “This is becoming more and more dangerous. Soon every pastor will need protection. Pastor Kashkumbayev is being targeted because he’s ethnically Kazakh and left Islam for Christianity.” Included in the original article is a video that shows Pastor B (Navy blue jacket with white stripes) seeing his wife (red jacket) for the first time since his arrest in May. He sits down to show her one of his leg injuries and she begins sobbing.

KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor To Be Transferred From Prison to House Arrest

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev’s trial has been extended until November 17, however, he is to be released from prison into house arrest. He will not be able to communicate with the outside world, but he will be in a safe environment where he will not be mistreated. Thank you to everyone who called the embassy on his behalf! Please continue to pray for his complete freedom.

Christians in Central Asia Ask for Prayer

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Christians from across Central Asia joined together in Almaty, Kazakhstan last month to pray for revival in their region. This part of the world suffers religious restrictions and believers are often prohibited from practicing their faith freely. Please join them in prayer.

Are They Punished for Minor Offences or as a Pretext for their Faith?

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

From deportations, to harsh punishments for minor infractions, it seems that Christians in Kazakhstan are now being punished for exercising their right to freedom of religion in round-about ways. One pastor was kicked out of the country after “committing eight administrative offences in eight years.” A Human rights defender has said, "They used these administrative offences as a pretext to kick the pastor out of the country."

Bible in Kazak Language May be Reason for Pastor’s Wrongful Imprisonment

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

In an article, originally written in Russian, it is revealed that the reason Pastor Kashkumbayev was originally targeted for wrongful imprisonment may be in part because he is ethnically Kazakh and owned a Bible in the Kazakh language.  In Kazakhstan, ethnic Kazakh’s (as opposed to those of Russian decent) are expected to be Muslim and face more persecution if they convert to Christianity. In this case, Kashkumbayev’s sons claim that when police found a Bible in the Kazakh language in their father’s church during a raid, they said it caused resentment in the officers.

  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

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  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

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  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

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  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

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  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

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Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.