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Two churches were raided in Kazakhstan earlier this month following unsubstantiated allegations that a congregant was drugged during communion. A source at the police department reportedly said, "Members of the religious association ... were given hallucinogens to drink."

Property and literature were confiscated from both churches, pastors were questioned, and one church's bank account was frozen. Officials even requested blood tests from believers at one church. Grace Church in Kazakhstan's capital Astana and New Life Church in Oral in West Kazakhstan Region were implicated in the case, which was launched more than 15 months ago after the alleged victim's mother made accusations her daughter was harmed. Church members at Grace Church denied any harm to member Lazzat Almenova. Lazzat said her sisters forced her into a psychiatric hospital for three months in 2011, while they sold some property that was owned jointly. Church members say Lazzat twice visited the Church after the raid, and that it is unclear why New Life Church, which is over 1,000 kilometres away, was implicated at all.

The raids came just before the October 25 deadline for the re-registration of all religious communities across Kazakhstan under the highly restrictive amendments to the Religion Law, which came into force last year. The re-registration of these two churches will not be considered until their names are cleared.

Please pray that these false allegations will be dropped and that Lazzat will remain strong in her faith. Please pray that both Grace Church and New Life Church will be re-registered. Pray that, whether registered or not, churches in Kazakhstan will remain faithful to the Lord.

Go to the Kazakhstan Country Report for more information on Kazakhstan's suffering Church.

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Country Information

Population
19,245,793 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Kazakh (Qazaq) (68), Russian (19.3), Uzbek (3.2), Ukrainian (1.5), Uighur (1.5), Tatar (1.1), German (1), Other (4.4)

Religion (%)
Muslim (70.2), Christian (26.2), Buddhist (0.1), Other (0.2), Atheist (2.8), Unspecified (0.5)

Leader
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (2019)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system the theory and practice of the Russian Federation
Civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and b

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Kazakhstan

Pray that authorities will cease their harassment of unregistered church communities. Until then, pray believers will effectively minister the gospel despite opposition.

Pray for endurance for those believers facing these challenges.

Pray for the adage “To be a Kazakh is to be a Muslim” to be broken; pray for freedom from historic spiritual bondages and prejudices.

end

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Kazakhstan News

  • Parliament Debates New Religious Restrictions
    Kazakhstan Senate - Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ
    Kazakhstan Senate
    Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ (cc)

    On October 6th, amendments to Kazakhstan's religious laws were approved by the Parliament and then passed on to the Senate. The legislation added new restrictions to religious events conducted outside a building of worship owned by a registered re

    ...
  • Religious Worshippers Monitored and Fined
    Oral, Kazakhstan - Photo: Wikipedia / Bereshev
    Oral, Kazakhstan
    Photo: Wikipedia / Bereshev (cc)

    Since the beginning of 2021, at least 20 cases have gone to court in Kazakhstan for holding religious meetings without state permission. The fines brought against them varied from three weeks' to four months' average wages. Amendments are also pres

    ...
  • Appeal Fails to Halt Seizures
    New Life Curch - Photo: Ivan Kryukov
    New Life Church property in Almaty
    Photo: Ivan Kryukov (cc)

    On September 17th, a court in the city of Almaty upheld an earlier decision to seize two buildings owned by the New Life Protestant Church. The facilities were being used for worship, as well as a means of support for those suffering from

    ...
  • Church Buildings Confiscated
    Grace Church member praying - Photo: Grace Church via Forum 18 www.forum18.org
    Church member prays outside Grace Church.
    Photo: Grace Church via Forum 18

    City officials in Kazakhstan's capital of Nur-Sultan have ordered the confiscation of the Grace Presbyterian Church building, as well as the place of worship being constructed on the same site for the Agape Pentecostal Church

    ...

Kazakhstan Videos