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 . . . Read More

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center

More than 80 countries ‘favour’ one religion over others – Pew Research Center
Over 80 countries favour a specific religion, either officially as a state religion or tacitly through special treatment, according to a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center. Islam is the most common state religion – 27 countries have it as their official religion, including 16 of the 20 . . . Read More

Kyrgyzstan: ‘We will kill you’ sprayed on church wall

Kyrgyzstan: ‘We will kill you’ sprayed on church wall
A church in the northern Kyrgyzstan city of Tokmok had a death threat sprayed across one of its walls following a night-time robbery last week. Sources told World Watch Monitor that the graffiti was by local Islamic radicals who broke into the church building, damaged furniture and wrote: “We will kill . . . Read More

Central Asian Christians feel repercussions of governments’ focus on Islamist threat

Central Asian Christians feel repercussions of governments’ focus on Islamist threat
When the three suicide bombers who killed 44 people at Istanbul’s main airport on 28 June were identified as Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals, it provided another reminder that the threat from the so-called Islamic State reaches far beyond Syria and Iraq. And nowhere is that threat being taken more . . . Read More

Central Asia in the spotlight as Azerbaijan hosts European Games

Central Asia in the spotlight as Azerbaijan hosts European Games
In a somewhat geographically and culturally challenging development, the first ever European Games begins today (13 June) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is more usually identified as a Central Asian country, but the European Union considers it to be in what it calls its “European Neighbourhood” – what others . . . Read More