Baptist Minister and Family Granted Asylum In U. S. After Persecution In Kazakhstan

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After nearly three years of waiting, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service granted asylum to a Baptist minister and his family who were deported from Kazakhstan.

Viktor Lim—who was born in Uzbekistan of Korean ancestry—moved to Kazakhstan in 1993 to pursue his education as a mechanical engineer and became a Christian a couple of years later.

Feeling called by God to the ministry, he attended seminary and then started a small congregation in Kazakhstan, where he sought citizenship.

Endured persecution in Kazakhstan

For about seven years, the Russian-speaking minister endured threats, police searches of his home, surveillance and interrogation.

“My perception is they were intimidation tactics to get him to shut down the work he was doing there,” said David Baay, lead attorney for the Houston team that provided the Lim family free legal services.

“The country’s restrictive 2011 religion law bans unregistered religious activity and has been enforced through the closing of religious groups, police raids, detentions and fines,” according to a report on Kazakhstan by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “The law’s onerous registration requirements have led to a sharp drop in the number of registered religious groups, both Muslim and Protestant.”

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SOURCE: The Baptist Standard
Ken Camp