» 02/23/2012, 00.00
Kazakh government to ban 579 Churches and religious communities
Any group with less than 50 members is excluded under the new Religion Law of 21 October. Existing groups have until 25 October 2012 to meet the law's requirements. In the meantime, public meetings are banned.
“Soviet methods” used on religious minorities
At an Osce conference, the countries religious authorities vaunt Astana’s religious freedom and tolerance. At the same time Jehovah Witnesses are sentenced for having gathered in prayer and the temple of the Hare Krishna is demolished. The systematic persecution of religious minorities.
No more court martial for Protestant clergyman who converted from Islam
Military espionage charges are dropped but apostasy and proselytising still hang over his head. Pastor is still liable for the death penalty.
Kazakh authorities convict Baptist man on false charges
Vasily Stakhnev has to pay a hefty fine for illegal distribution of religious material. He said he would appeal his conviction. The authorities have targeted Baptists because they refuse to register. In a few months, the country's religion law has led to the banning of almost 600 churches and religious groups.
Protestants fear restrictions with the new Kazakh law on religious freedom
The changes expected within a few months. The Constitutional Court has declared the previous Act illegal. The country says it wants to combat Islamic terrorism, but punishes any unauthorized activity and pursues the small Christian groups.
Changes to law on religious freedom planned
The authorities have said the amendments will not make things worse but many Protestant groups fear further restrictions on their activities. Small communities are often hassled, fined or forced to wait for a long time to get compulsory registration.
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