Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Friday, July 19th, 2013
Kazakhstan has not made good on its human rights promises to the U.N. Torture and mistreatment continues to run rampant, and many allegations against officials are ignored or go unprosecuted. Despite repeated pledges by the authorities, the situation has not visibly improved. ICC joins Amnesty International and the United Nations in decrying these violations of human rights in Kazakhstan.
Thursday, July 11th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has launched a petition calling for the immediate and unconditional release of a Pastor in Kazakhstan who has been imprisoned on trumped-up charges.
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Kazakhstan’s true colors are showing in regards to freedom of religion as it pertains to Christians. With ever rising fines and a new travel ban, which is viewed as “double punishment,” Christians are feeling harassed for merely practicing their right to religious freedom.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
A Christian Uzbek refugee was arrested in Kazakhstan in 2012 on charges of “conducting extremist religious activities.” The man has just been extradited to Uzbekistan, in violation of orders from the United Nations (UN), a country that is known for torture and abuse of religious prisoners is routine. The family and friends believe that this man is innocent and maintain that he was unfairly tried on fabricated charges.
Friday, June 21st, 2013
“The capital of Kazakhstan became a traditional dialogue platform for representatives of world religions on acute questions of supporting and providing peace based on tolerance, mutual understanding, and cooperation.” And while this may be true, it takes more than words. Later in this article, Father Peter of the Russian Orthodox University asks for religious material to be translated into Russian. He explains that for religions to understand each other, they must understand themselves. The reason he has to ask for this is that much religious literature in Kazakhstan is often censored. While this article attempts to show that Kazakhstan extends religious freedom and encourages different religions to work together, the truth is that this is not what life is like for religious minorities in everyday life.
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
In its attempts to counter terrorism, Kazakhstan has “cast the net too far” in its restrictions of religious groups, including Christians. While this article seems to lean towards support of the government, we feel that the government has infringed on the religious freedoms of its people. “It’s very, very clear what the intent of the government is: to ratchet up the controls that already exist on all kinds of religious activities, when people should be free to get involved in them without state permission or state controls,” said Felix Corley of Forum 18.
Thursday, June 13th, 2013
In the last 6 months in Kazakhstan over 100 administrative punishments (harsh fines) have been doled out for “meeting for worship without state permission or for sharing faith with others.” Also, Grace Protestant Church’s pastor—Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev remains in pre-trial detention facing charges of “inciting religious hatred” and harming the health of his parishioners by serving them tea during communion.
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Christians in Kazakhstan who have been fined for their religious activity, an act which violates their right to religious freedom, can now also be restricted from traveling outside the country. This “travel ban” is in place as a way to force them to pay their fines, but Baptists—they are particularly targeted—take this as a double punishment of sorts. Baptists in Kazakhstan regularly refuse to register their churches and religious activities with the government as an act of civil disobedience
Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Things have been steadily heating up in Central Asia. It seems that Islamic extremism is increasing and that religious minorities, including Christians, will be the ones to suffer. Recent cases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are focused on in this article.
Friday, June 7th, 2013
The collapse of the Soviet Union caused a growth in Islam and Extremism in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Predictions are now being made that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will “have a destabilizing effect on the whole region.” The prediction is that Islamic extremism will increase in the next few years and that Central Asia will need to be closely monitored.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
A pastor in Kazakhstan was arrested earlier this year, and while that is not entirely uncommon for the region, this arrest comes with a “twist”: the pastor is a Christian who converted from Islam. Some think the pastor was targeted for that reason as this Muslim majority nation believes that “if you are Muslim, you should stay Muslim. If you are Christian, you should stay Christian."
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
When Aleksei gathered with his friends for worship he didn’t feel that he was doing anything punishable by law. However, the authorities beg to differ, as they fined him a steep fine as punishment. Aleksei refused to pay it, again stating that he did nothing wrong. Once he refused to pay the fine, he was jailed for three days for “failure to carry out court decisions.”
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
The accusations keep changing! First Pastor Kashkumbayev was told he was arrested for putting “hallucinogens” in the communion “wine” (it’s actually tea). Now the accusation is that he was “praying in tongues and singing” which caused a lady to “lose her mind.” The courts recently upheld an order that this pastor must remain in prison for two months pre-trial. “Prosecutors have long been seeking to punish the leaders of Grace Church, but the reason or reasons for this remain unclear.” Now, it seems, a pastor must languish in prison with unclear charges.
Sunday, May 19th, 2013
With a new “anti-extremism” program pending in Kazakhstan, many are concerned that persecution of Christians, and other religious minorities, will increase. For example, “If adopted in its current form, all places of worship would require security systems and require the teaching of what the government calls ‘traditional religions.’”
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
A new form of persecution seems to be emerging in Kazakhstan through staged attempts to frame and discredit Christians. In at least one such case, a pastor was forced to take his case public and speak out against the perpetrators.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
A new State Programme to Counter Religious Extremism and Terrorism is being proposed in Kazakhstan. If adopted “as is” it will violate freedom of religion of many religious minorities, including Christians. The Plan has 74 measures, three of which are: "Uncover and halt the activity of illegally functioning places of worship"; "Uncover and halt the distribution of religious literature and informational materials of religious content in non-approved locations"; "Uncover and halt the carrying out on the territory of the country of illegal missionary activity."
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
Censorship of printed and imported religious literature, controls on when and whether it can be disseminated and the banning of publicly discussing your faith all lead to the conclusion that religious freedom and religious free speech in Kazakhstan “doesn’t exist.”
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
The Country of Kazakhstan seems to have a problem when it comes to their actions supporting their words. Not long after the President said that “religious freedom is fully secured,” seven Christians, more than half of them elderly, were given hefty fines for worshiping together in their homes. One of the victims has asked for “People to reach out to President Nazarbayev ‘so that he would hear us and resolve the problem with the authorities, i.e. the police and the courts’.”
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
A little good news for Believers has come out of the courts of Kazakhstan. Christian literature confiscated from an Evangelist has been returned. Usually, this type of literature is not returned and tends to be burned. This is great news. The evangelist is quoted as saying, "Thank God they didn’t destroy my books."
Friday, April 19th, 2013
It seems that a “law-enforcement agency” attempted to frame a pastor and members of his congregation when they went to a Sauna. Apparently, the “law-enforcement” officer told the Sauna staff to let two girls in after the Believers arrived, saying, "most important thing was to let the girls in and that they should be able to take off all their clothes. And after that, two police officers will arrive." The Pastor told reporters that he was “he was going public on this case to try to prevent such methods being used in future.”
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Officials in Kazakhstan raided a Church on Easter Sunday saying that the visiting pastor needed permission to preach declaring that he was conducting “illegal missionary activity.” The Pastor explained to the officials that he was “leading a service in a registered local religious community and was not 'spreading my faith', the Religion Law's definition of 'missionary activity.’ The faith has already been spread in the church. My actions did not constitute a criminal or administrative offence."
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Subtle, and not so subtle, persecution continues for Christians in Kazakhstan. We are keeping our eye on the new proposed laws that could result in jail-time for religious minorities practicing their faith in Kazakhstan.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Believers in Kazakhstan are seen as worshiping and praying illegally if they do not have the governments permission to gather. However, the government makes it nearly impossible to gain registration, which makes it legal to gather in fellowship, worship and prayer. In a recent raid on an “illegal” gathering, two grandmothers reportedly in their late seventies were fined, along with five other Baptists, for participating in the “unregistered religious meeting in a private home.” The seven believers were each fined exorbitant amounts for their “crime.”
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
New articles and a new proposed Criminal Code in Kazakhstan would result in jail time and even higher fees for individuals exercising their rights to freedom of religion. The law would make organizing religious activities or sharing your faith in a way not pre-approved by the government, a criminal offense. These changes and additions, if approved in May, will “be in violation of Kazakhstan’s international human rights commitments.”
Friday, March 15th, 2013
As religious censorship continues to increase in Kazakhstan, here is what appears to be a first for the country: confiscated religious material is to be burned. The materials are said to consist of Bibles, Children’s Bibles and pamphlets on the Christian faith. This is a disturbing court order and is in clear violation of religious freedom. One human rights defender is quoted as saying, "This is terrible, terrible." We agree.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
With disturbing reports of persecution against Christians trickling out of a region that appears to exist in the shadows, religious freedom in Central Asia remains a matter of grave concern for the rest of the world.
Monday, March 4th, 2013
A small seminary attached to a Baptist congregation in Almaty, Kazakhstan was "upset" at being subjected to court-ordered liquidation on February 23, Forum 18 News Service reports. According to a seminary representative, the Baptist church had tried, but was unable to register the seminary under Kazakhstan’s 2011 Religion Law. The seminary hopes to continue its activity with registration under the umbrella of a registered regional religious organization.
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
With Protestants in Kazakhstan a minority, making up only 2% of the population, the election of a new mufti is important. Yerzhan Malgajyuly Mayamerov “was elected as Grand Mufti and chairman of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kazakhstan.” As the highest religious official in Kazakhstan he will be responsible for “issuing religious edicts (fatawas).” It remains to be seen if his edicts will protect or hurt the Christian minority in the country.
Sunday, February 10th, 2013
Just over a year after Kazakhstan tightened its laws regulating religion in a purported effort to stamp out “Islamic extremism,” reports reveal that Christians and other innocent faith minorities have increasingly been victimized by the needless reform.