Kazakhstan Increases Restrictions On Unregistered Churches

Trouble’s brewing in Central Asia. Sources note increasing efforts to restrict religious freedom in Kazakhstan. Forum 18 counted more than 100 cases between January and June this year.

In the latest incident, officials began interfering with one church’s attempts to follow the law. “The New Life Pentecostal Church [was] just trying to get a new name to register, and then the police started visiting homes, interrogating them,” explains Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

“In some cases, the authorities arrived at the people’s homes late at night, and even threatened those who did not appear to cooperate.”

Religious groups can only gather if registered, and they can only register if their group consists of at least 50 founding members. Often, “the authorities will try to intimidate people so that they won’t list their names as members,” Musselman says.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth