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ICC NOTE: Kyrgyzstan is one of the most closed off nations in the world. It typically only recognizes two faiths Islam, and the Russian Orthodox Church. There is a small Catholic presence which has permission from the government to exist, but many protestant denominations live in constant fear. To be recognized as a legal faith they must receive state permission from the Kyrgyz government. It brings the denomination under state control but they are legally able to gather and worship. However, many protestant denominations have not received permission as they are seen as cults placing those who follow at risk of arrest and possibly torture as some communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses have experienced. 

11/14/2016 Kyrgyzstan (Forum 18) – Kyrgyzstan continues to deny all belief communities permission to exist without state control, Protestants stating they “live and exercise freedom of religion and belief with constant fear.” Officials refuse to explain why officials’ torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting for worship is not seriously investigated.

Kyrgyzstan continues to deny state registration – and so state permission to exist – to many belief communities which apply for it, and to ban groups of people from exercising freedom of religion and belief without state permission.

Protestant pastors state that they “live and exercise freedom of religion and belief with constant fear.” State officials have refused to answer, when asked by Forum 18, why they continue to fail to seriously investigate officials’ torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting for worship. It also remains unclear whether the prosecution and arrest of Jehovah’s Witness mother and daughter Oksana Koryakina and Nadezhda Sergienko, now being investigated by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, has finally come to an end. The two were apparently targeted in retaliation for their community applying for state registration (see below).

Control continues to be exercised over the Muslim Board and Russian Orthodox Church, as well as biased decisions being made in their favour, Almaz Esengeldiyev of Open Viewpoint noting that “the state acts as if it is their mentor” (see below).

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