31 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/02/2008
KAZAKHSTAN
Anti-terrorism police "monitor" Christian worship
Police burst into Christian religions functions, to film and identify those present. Although it has not yet been approved, a new law is already being applied that requires authorisation even for a religious from another city to visit.

Astana (AsiaNews/F18) - Police raids in church during religious functions, and repeated defamation in the state media: the Kazakh authorities are tightening their grip on Protestant Christian groups.

On Sunday, May 25, in Aktobe, anti-terrorism police broke into the New Life Protestant church during services, and filmed the approximately 60 people present, according to pastor Zholaman Nurmanov.  After the ceremony, the police interrogated them, especially about the presence of Maksim Tashenov, New Life pastor in Aktau, on the Caspian Sea, who was visiting the capital.

Nurtai Nugaev, the local head of the special police, tells the news agency Forum 18 that "it was not a raid, but we have to check up to see that they are abiding by the law. They were violating the law by inviting a missionary to speak without permission from the internal policy department of the local administration and holding meetings at a different place from where they are legally registered". Nugaev promised to "check up on them next Sunday" and possibly bring them to court.

For some time, the Kazakh police have been identifying those who participate in meetings of Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslims, while the state media continually denigrate these minorities.  In April, the prosecutor general's office described various religious groups, including the New Life Church, as "dangerous" and "destructive".

"The police", Tashenov explains, "told me that I need a special permit for missionary activity".

But Aleksandr Klyushev, head of Kazakhstan's association of religious organisations, stresses that "the church does not need any permission to invite pastors from other churches in the country according to the existing religion law. But the proposed new law is intended to have such provisions". The legislation being discussed in parliament would introduce greater limits on religious activity, forcing groups to ask for authorisation for almost any activity, allowing the authorities to control everything they do.  The actions of the special police, moreover, point to a wide-ranging operation to monitor and control all activity.

The authorities are also trying to take away from New Life a former child care centre that the church acquired 10 years ago in the nearby city of Alga.

Meanwhile, persecution continues against Baptist Christians, who refuse to register their groups and assert their constitutional right to assemble to practice their faith.  But the authorities are banning religious meetings, even in private homes, identifying and interrogating those present, and issuing weighty fines on pastors and homeowners.

When on May 9, in Shchuchinsk, in the region of Akmola, the German writer Werner Gitt came to talk to about 200 Baptists, the police interrupted him, accusing him of "illegal missionary activity", together with those with him.  Pastor Pyotr Zimens, who organised the meeting, was accused of administrative irregularities and fined 20,000 Tenge (about 107 euros).


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/15/2011 KAZAKHSTAN
Nazarbayev signs laws for the control of religious groups
03/17/2009 RUSSIA
Medvedev steers religions toward young people, but blocks Jehovah's witnesses
04/27/2013 KAZAKHSTAN
Kazakhstan, "religious freedom does not exist"
05/03/2012 KAZAKHSTAN
Kazakh authorities against Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Hare Krishna
06/09/2007 KAZAKHSTAN
“Soviet methods” used on religious minorities

Editor's choices
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
LEBANON
Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism
by Fady NounOfficial reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.
HONG KONG – CHINA
For Card Zen, removing crosses in Zhejiang is an insult to the faith of CatholicsHong Kong’s bishop emeritus has come to the conclusion that the campaign to dismantle crosses and religious buildings is part of a broader, nation-wide strategy, and constitutes regression in terms of the mainland's religious policy. Catholics and Protestants in Hong Kong now fear that it might happen to them. In Zhejiang, another 15 religious buildings are slated for destruction by 1 September.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.