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Kazakhstan: Home Confiscations To Follow Massive Fines

Kazakhstan (Foryum 18) A mother and her young child were barred from their home on 22 June as court executors sealed the Baptist church premises in Shymkent where they live to prevent the church from meeting, Baptists have told Forum 18 News Service.

The move followed the church’s refusal to abide by a court order halting its activity merely because it does not wish to undergo state registration. In Semey, Baptist Pastor Viktor Kandyba, his wife and their twelve children were threatened with the seizure of half their home by 18 July after he refused to pay a fine for leading unregistered worship.

“No-one appeared or summoned us on 18 July, but this could come at any time,” Kandyba complained to Forum 18. Cars and pigs have already been seized from other Baptists for non-payment of fines. Kazakhstan ‘s senior religious affairs official, Yeraly Tugzhanov, denies absolutely that the fines and seizure of property represent persecution. “No-one is being persecuted for their faith,” he said.