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

Kazakhstan proposes further restrictions on religion

Presidential Palace / "White House", Astana
Kazakhstan has drafted amendments to its religion laws that will further tighten restrictions on religious freedoms, reports regional news agency Forum 18. The changes focus on the religious freedom of children and parents and could reach parliament for ratification as early as December. The latest October draft states that one . . . Read More

Kazakhstan: closure of Jehovah’s Witnesses operation is sign of creeping religious intolerance

Kazakhstan: closure of Jehovah’s Witnesses operation is sign of creeping religious intolerance
Kazakhstan’s decision to suspend operations at the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a symptom of the country’s growing intolerance towards religious rights, and particularly Christianity, writes Casey Michel in The Diplomat. Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had operated in Kazakhstan for 25 years with 18,000 followers, reacted by expressing concern that . . . Read More

Turkmenistan: No change soon for religious minorities after Consitution amended

Turkmenistan: No change soon for religious minorities after Consitution amended
Turkmenistan has approved a constitutional amendment that will allow its President to rule for as long as he likes. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ruled Turkmenistan since 2006. His predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, died while still in office at the age of 66 – he was President for 21 years, during which time . . . Read More

Kazakhstan church raids a ‘backward step’

A policeman is filmed during the Good Friday raid on New Life church in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo:  Maxim Maximov / YouTube
Recent raids on Christians’ homes and churches in Kazakhstan are a “backward step”, following the positive strides made by the Kazakhstan President in recent years, according to a religious freedom expert in the country. Kevin White, research fellow and country director at the Almaty-based Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, says . . . 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