Pastor in Kazakhstan Acquitted of “Severe Negligence” After He Prayed for the Sick
Kazakhstan Acquits Pastor; Azerbaijan Church Threatened With Closure
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.
06/30/2012 Kazakhstan/Azerbaijan (BosNewsLife)- Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court has acquitted an evangelical pastor on charges of “severe damage to health due to negligence” after praying for an ill man, but devoted Christians in another former Soviet republic, Azerbaijan, were awaiting whether a high court would ban their church, BosNewsLife learned Saturday, June 30.
“Praise the Lord that Pastor Yerzhan Ushanov, leader of New Life Protestant Church in [the city of] Taraz has been acquitted by the Supreme Court…after he prayed for the healing of a sick man who visited his church,” said Barnabas Fund, an advocacy group following the case.
The case against the pastor had been initiated by Kazakhstan’s secret police after they received complaint from the man’s wife, Christians said. The pastor was found guilty in September last year and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totaling $1,365, something now overturned by the Supreme Court, trial observers said.
Rights activists say the case mirrored that of Vissa Kim, pastor of Grace Light of Love Protestant Church, who was fined in April 2010 for harming a woman’s health by praying for her. The Supreme Court subsequently overturned his conviction and canceled the fine.