The court hearing for a Kazakh pastor detained since May has been pushed back again.

Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev, 67, pastor of Grace Protestant Church in Astana, is charged with the psychological manipulation of a member of his congregation through the use of a “red-coloured hallucinogenic drink”.

Other members of the congregation say the drink is a harmless, non-alcoholic beverage used as part of the church’s Holy Communion – to represent the traditionally used, and symbolic, red wine.

The pastor was supposed to learn his fate on Sunday (Nov. 17), but his son was informed that the hearing had been postponed.

Askar Kashkumbayev was told that a new date will be confirmed on Friday (Nov. 22). No reason was given for the postponement.