Kazakhstan’s repressive government seeks to control all areas of life. Religious freedom has been further restricted by recent legislation, while the government is using the threat of militant Islam as a pretext to clamp down. Converts to Christianity from a Muslim background come under the most pressure – from the government, family, friends and wider community. Churches that are active in evangelism are subjected to raids, threats, arrests and fines – especially if the church has not been registered.

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Kazakhstan passes Religion Law that ‘undermines principles of human rights’

Kazakhstan's Parliament building in the capital Astana. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Kazakhstan’s Parliament has approved a set of wide-ranging amendments to the country’s Religion Law, refusing calls from civil society groups for a legal review by an independent body. The new set of restrictions, which are expected to further infringe upon religious freedom and have been criticised for violating international human […]

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Kazakhstan: Child in church triggers police raid

Kazakhstan: Child in church triggers police raid

A senior police officer in the southern Kazakh city of Kyzylorda has defended sending anti-extremism officers to investigate the presence of a child in church, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Kuanishbek Urazov, Head of Kyzylorda Regional Police’s Department for the Struggle with Extremism, said it was the police’s “duty […]

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Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires

A Kazakhstan court has acquitted a Christian women accused of “missionary activity” after she was caught in an “apparent sting operation”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Police officers arrested Dilobarkhon Sultanova in January after she helped Elmira Inibekova download a Bible app to her mobile phone. The two women […]

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Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017

Kazakhstan: Hundreds punished for practising faith in 2017

Kazakhstan prosecuted 279 individuals, groups and organisations last year for conducting activities related to religion, according to news agency Forum 18. The ‘offences’ included attending worship meetings, importing religious literature, telling other people about a faith, praying, allowing a parent to bring a child to a religious meeting, and inadequate […]

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Kazakhstan’s new restrictions to ‘flagrantly’ violate religious rights

At the facility of one of the presbyterian Churches in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is set to pass a new set of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief that violate international human rights obligations, according to regional news service Forum 18. The proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s religion law are currently with the Prime Minister and are expected to be signed into law […]

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Kazakhstan releases Christian imprisoned ‘as message to Muslims thinking about converting’

Kazakhstan releases Christian imprisoned ‘as message to Muslims thinking about converting’

Kazakhstan has released a 56-year-old man imprisoned for more than two years to dissuade other Muslims from converting to Christianity, reports Christian persecution charity Voice of the Martyrs. Yklas Kabduakasov, a father of eight, was arrested in August 2015 on a charge of “inciting religious hatred”. Police confiscated Christian books […]

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