Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, November 26th, 2012
While it’s good that Pastor Djabbarbergenov has not yet been extradited, the wait continues. Currently in prison in Kazakhstan, he awaits decisions of whether or not he will be extradited to his native Uzbekistan where he could face up to fifteen years in prison for hosting a house church in his home. The article goes on to say, “Evangelical Christians in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet nations say they are often forced to gather in underground house churches as authorities refuse to recognize their congregations and groups.”
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
With the new religion laws in full effect Kazakhstan’s religious minorities, which includes Baptists and Protestants, struggle with what on the surface looks like religious freedom, but in action infringes it instead. The standards required to have your religion or faith group approved by the government are nearly impossible for religious minorities. This article states, “The new law sets what critics see as a much higher bar for religious groups on membership requirements, calling for minimum membership of 5,000 nationally, 500 regionally, and 50 locally. The law also contains provisions covering the vetting of religious literature and tightens guidelines for the training of clergy.” Many argue that the government is trying to control the way religion is practiced in the country. Opponents of the religion law continue to believe that choices about religion and faith are personal, private and should not be controlled by the government. We agree.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Last year Kazakhstan enacted a Religion Law which required religious organizations to be registered with the government. Any previously approved religious organizations were required to re-register. This left hundreds of churches at the mercy of the government, who has made things difficult for Christians and other religious groups. Over the summer officials went so far as to tell Christians that if they continued to meet together while “un-registered” their homes could be confiscated. Dmitry Yantsen of the Council of Churches Baptist says that it doesn’t really matter if you are registered or not because "the authorities will continue attacking, pressuring and raiding." His “case-in-point” happened just last week when “several other officials filmed the worship service, wrote down the names of the worshippers, and left. ‘We suppose that a case will be brought against the members of the Church,’” Ynatsen said.
Monday, November 5th, 2012
The family of Makset Djabbarbergenov is waiting the results of today’s trial which could determine whether or not Kazakhstan will extradite him to Uzbekistan where he faces charges of “practicing religion outside state regulations”. Everything that could be made complicated for this family has been. They have desperately been trying to gain refugee status, however the papers they filed in August have been “lost”. "We can't understand why they cannot find it," Forum 18 quoted the bureau’s Denis Dzhigava as saying. "It seems the application has been lost." His fate hangs in the balance. If he is sent back the concern is that he will face torture and unfair imprisonment in Uzbekistan, which is number 7 on the World Watch List of dangerous countries to be a Christian.
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
This article sheds light on the state of the persecuted church in the 10/40 window. This region of the world sees the highest amount of persecution and is also where most of ICC’s projects are based. Christians often see “their lives threatened, homes destroyed, rights violated and loved ones imprisoned, all because of embracing faith in Jesus Christ".
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
If you’ve been following the case of Makset Djabbarbergenov, from Kazakhstan, this article is a great sum up of the basics. This pastor escaped from Uzbekistan where he was accused of practicing religion in his home. He is in danger of being extradited and many worry for his future if he is.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Christians in Central Asia have suffered intense investigation, raids, beatings and fines from authorities in the last few weeks. From the beating of an elderly woman in Turkmenistan to a masked police search of a church in Kazakhstan, Christians are concerned at the increase of attention from authorities. This article summarizes many of the most recent incidences in these Central Asian countries.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Charged in Uzbekistan with teaching the beliefs of the “banned religious organization Isa-Masih [Jesus Messiah]”, Protestant pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov has been in prison in Kazakhstan, where his refugee request has so far been denied. A few years ago he and his family escaped to Kazakhstan, fearing their lives were in danger in Uzbekistan. Though the UN Committee Against Torture states that he should gain refugee status due to the danger of sending him back to Uzbekistan, authorities in Kazakhstan are still threatening to extradite him. If he is in fact extradited, he could face up to fifteen years in prison. His wife, who hasn't seen him since his arrest in August says, “We want him freed.”
Monday, October 29th, 2012
On October 25, 2012 the government of Kazakhstan enforced the new “re-registration” deadline for all religious communities, churches etc. All churches were required to turn in paperwork that included the signatures of individuals who were church members, as you were required to have at least 50 members for your church to be even eligible to register. In the days leading up to the deadline authorities were contacting those who had signed pressuring and harassing them to revoke their signatures. One Christian said he was, "weary of all these phone calls and visit from the officials."
Monday, October 29th, 2012
Christian threatened with extradition to one of world’s worst violators of religious rights.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Uzbekistan is a difficult country in which to be a Christian. Currently, all Protestant Christian churches are considered illegal. So much so, that a pastor and his family escaped to Kazakhstan in hopes of gaining asylum due to the persecution they faced. Now, he has been arrested in Kazakhstan, despite the United Nations saying he should be granted asylum. This article states that if extradited back to Uzbekistan he could be facing up to three years in prison, however ICC sources have reported it could be as high as fifteen years. The next two weeks are critical and will dictate the future of this pastor and his family.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
A pastor who fled from Uzbekistan to evade arrest for the “crime” of holding “illegal” religious meetings in his home has been arrested in Kazakhstan where he and his family were living as refugees. The police actually held his sister-in-law for two weeks in attempts to use her to lure him out of hiding so he could be arrested. In June the United Nations Committee Against Torture condemned Kazakhstan for sending refugees and asylum seekers back to Uzbekistan to face torture and long prison terms. The worry now is that this pastor will face that same fate if sent back to his home country.
Friday, August 17th, 2012
Kazakhstan is not known for fair trials. So far their “restrictive law on religion” has been harmful to churches and Christians.
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
“Kazakhstan continues to use property-related legal cases as a way of stopping people exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief,” says Forum 18 News.
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Raymond Ibrahim writes for the Gatestone Institute that, “The bloody jihad waged against Nigeria's Christians, which has seen hundreds killed this year alone, now includes plans to kill Christians with poisoned food, as part of the Islamic organization Boko Haram's stated goal of purging Nigeria of all Christian presence.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
A pastor, who was found guilty of “severe damage to health due to negligence” because he prayed for a sick man, is rejoicing that the ruling was overturned. His fine and court costs were overturned by the Supreme Court. Though he should never have been convicted of anything in the first place, we are glad the Supreme Court recognized that and reversed the initial decision.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
The Government of Kazakhstan boasts of its religious tolerance, but makes it nearly impossible for churches to exist, much less meet together for worship. All religious groups must register with the government to legally exist. They must have at least 50 members before they are eligible for registration. Churches must register their location and are not allowed to meet anywhere but that locale. This makes small group meetings in the home or churches with less than 50 members illegal. Paperwork can take years to go through, and legal status can be taken away for virtually no reason. This, friends, is not a country that is tolerant. It is a country that says it is, but whose actions speak something entirely different.
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
Religious tensions run high all over the world. A “global congress of faiths,” held in Kazakhstan, was an attempt to foster discussion, primarily between the Islam and Christian faiths. “The conference is a bold reminder to the world that people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds can and should live together in peace,” said an official at the event. The first congress, in 2003 came to the conclusion that, "extremism, terrorism and other forms of violence in the name of religion... are threat to human life and should be rejected". In this, the fourth congress, hopes are for similar breakthroughs.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
A Baptist man in Kazakhstan says he kept his religious literature in his house and didn’t leave it at his neighbors doors. The police, apparently, forced his neighbors to write false testimonies claiming that he did this, which is an illegal missionary activity. One neighbor told Forum 18 that they were “not even sure what I signed for the police.” This seems like another case of police making excuses to raid the homes of Christians and arrest them based on the Christian literature they have in their homes. Kazakhstan needs to change the laws that discriminate against religious minorities and begin enforcing laws that protect “their internationally recognized right to freedom of religion or belief…”
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
New State Censorship Regulations make it difficult for religious literature to be produced or brought into the country of Kazakhstan. So far, the only ones approved have been of Muslim origin.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
In recent weeks the clamp down on religions has intensified, with arbitrary arrests and seizure of material.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
"Six months after Kazakhstan's harsh new Religion Law and associated new punishments for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief came into force, a growing number of religious communities are complaining of restrictions on and threats of prosecution for sharing their faith."
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
A small Methodist Church in Taldykorgan fears it will be forcefully closed by Land Inspectors following the enforced closure of the Ahmadi Muslim community in Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty, Forum 18 News Service reports.
Saturday, March 24th, 2012
Raymond Ibrahim reports for Gatestone Institute that, “Half of Iraq's indigenous Christians are gone, due to the unleashed forces of jihad [holy war]. Many Christians fled to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack from al-Qaeda and others… Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation's modern history.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
“State officials have re-started using claims of allegedly "illegal use" of property to harass religious communities the authorities dislike. For example the mosque of the Ahmadi Muslim Community in the Medeu District of Almaty, and the church of Grace Presbyterian Church in a suburb of Turkestan in South Kazakhstan Region, are both facing challenges from local Prosecutor's Offices as to whether they can be used as places of worship. The action against Grace Church was initiated by the KNB secret police,” Forum 18 News Service reports.
Friday, February 24th, 2012
"Kazakhstan's new Religion Law bans 579 religious groups, including Protestant Churches and Muslim sects, if they have less than 50 registered members," Asia News reports.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
“In Kazakhstan's first known use of expanded and increased punishments for exercising freedom of religion or belief, a Baptist in eastern Kazakhstan has been fined what local people estimate to be a year and a half's average local wages for leading an unregistered religious organization,” Forum 18 News Service reports.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
The Kazak government recently claimed that Orthodox Christians are treated with equal rights after one orthodox family applied for asylum in France on the grounds of being persecuted for their faith, Interfax reports.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
“State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev ordered the devotion of considerable resources to promoting what he claimed to be ‘the significance and the progressiveness’ of Kazakhstan's highly restrictive new Religion Law at a closed meeting of senior state officials on 27 October,” Forum 18 News Service reports.
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
“In Kazakhstan, a Baptist was imprisoned for 48 hours in early December for refusing to pay fines imposed for leading meetings for religious worship,” Forum 18 News Service reports.