After months behind bars, Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev was released from prison on Monday, Feb 17. The judge did, however, sentence him to 4 years of probation. His family plans to file an appeal.
From 1995 until his arrest last year, Pastor Bakhytzhan faithfully pastored his church in Kazakhstan where he openly preached about the spiritual freedom one receives through forgiveness in Christ. His bold preaching angered many people, and strong opposition to his ministry arose. He was recently arrested on allegations that the red tea served for communion was a hallucinogen that caused physical harm to a congregant. The alleged victim, whose close relative accused the pastor, has denied that the tea caused any harm.
Just hours after his release from prison Pastor Bakhytzhan spoke with Open Doors by phone saying that he was on his way to visit his grandchildren. He sounded healthy and positive! Pastor Bakhytzhan asked that we send a greeting of thanks to everyone who prayed for him!
Father, we praise You for the verdict that released Pastor Bakhytzhan from prison, and, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we celebrate with him as he is reunited with his family. We now pray for Your hand of protection to rest upon him as he pursues an appeal, and ask that You grant him wisdom in the process. Father may Your name be praised in Uzbekistan for now and ever more. Amen.