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ICC Note:

“Kazakhstan has started to punish worship in private homes and worship without state permission again,” Forum 18 News Service reports.

By Felix Corley
 
3/31/2011 Kazakhstan (Forum 18 News Service) – Kazakhstan has started to punish worship in private homes and worship without state permission again, Forum 18 News Service has found. Baptist Pastor Andrei Panafidin was fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage for leading unregistered religious worship in Taraz on 4 March, the seventh time he has been fined for this “offence”, local Baptists told Forum 18. He is the first Council of Churches Baptist in Kazakhstan known to have been fined since June 2010. An officer of Jambyl Regional Directorate for the Struggle with Organised Crime – which took part in raids on the congregation – insisted to Forum 18: “It’s a violation if they don’t register – all religious communities must be registered.” In Shymkent a judge has banned the local New Life Pentecostal Church from holding worship in the house where the congregation is registered. And a local administration in Almaty has – with KNB secret police and Interior Ministry intervention – banned a university from renting its facilities to religious communities.

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