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555 Challenge – Week #48 Kazakhstan

December 9, 2013 by Open Doors in ,

Kazakhstan One of the consequences of the restrictive law on religion that was signed by President Nursultan Nazarbaev on October 13, 2011 was the requirement that all religious groups should re-register before October 25, 2012. One day after this deadline has passed, the full consequences of this move became visible. The number of religious groups allowed in the denominations has been shortened dramatically from 46 to 17. A third of all religious groups in Kazakhstan have been shut down. Subjects of faiths such as Judaism, Buddhism, and Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity were allowed to re-register. About a third of the protestant churches will be closed down. It is important to note that the numbers mentioned do not include the already large number of congregations that have either refused to go for registration out of principle, or have been unsuccessful in obtaining registration despite their intention to do so. All activities of religious groups that do not have registration with the authorities are strictly illegal. Worship or prayer meetings of unregistered groups can and will be raided; participants and leaders will be interrogated, detained and/or fined. The requirement to re-register with the authorities bears an eerie resemblance to the common practice in Kazakhstan, where six rounds of forced re-registration since 1991 has led to a decline in the number of legal Christian communities in that country. Pray Share Give

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