Pastor in Kazakhstan Punished for Worship Meeting
Pastor Nikolai Levin from Kazakhstan’s Akmola Region has been fined again for refusing to pay an earlier fine that was imposed for leading his religious community according to Forum 18, a Norwegian human rights organization that promotes religious freedom. Pastor Levin, along with many of his fellow Baptists, is already on the exit blacklist and authorities have placed the home where his church meets under a restraining order.
Two Protestant believers from Atyrau were recently prosecuted for “violating the procedure for conducting religious meetings” The violation, in their case, involved drinking tea with other church members after a Sunday service.
Under Kazakhstan’s restrictive 2011 Religion Law, citizens and foreign residents in Kazakhstan must obtain state permission in order to speak to others about their faith. Those who violate this law can be fined for illegal “missionary activity.” The law also stipulates that foreigners who engage in such “missionary activities” can be deported.
Pray for the Christians in Kazakhstan where it seems that the situation for believers has recently been deteriorating.
Source: Forum 18
Father, we praise Your glorious name for the work of Christ’s kingdom in Kazakhstan. And we thank You for the testimony of faithful Christians like Pastor Levin who proclaim Your Word even in the midst of persecution. We pray for him and his house church as they continue in devoted worship. Protect them from arrests and fines, direct their paths that they might serve You with godly discernment, and grant them courage and opportunity to share the message of the gospel of Christ, that one day soon Your name might be proclaimed freely in the nation of Kazakhstan. In the name of Jesus whose light they reflect in the darkness. Amen