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Judges in the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan could be deprived of their rights to freedom of religion or belief if the proposed Code of Judges' Ethics is adopted in its current form later this month. Judges could face disciplinary action for talking about their faith with others, being among the legal founders of a religious organization, attending a religious conference as a private individual or "providing support in any form" to a religious organization.

The code, which would apply to all of Kazakhstan's estimated 2,660 judges, may be adopted at the next Congress of Judges. According to Madiyar Balken, a Supreme Court judge and secretary of the Union of Judges public association, the congress meeting is scheduled to be held in the capital city of Astana on November 24th.

Judge Balken justified the proposed restrictions, insisting that judges "shouldn't be very active in their religious conduct." Aina Shormanbayeva, an Almaty-based lawyer who heads a non-governmental organization, International Legal Initiative, is among several legal specialists concerned by the union's proposed rules.

In violation of its international human rights obligations, Kazakhstan already bans meeting for worship without state registration, talking to others about religion without state permission, and publishing or distributing literature about religion without state permission.

Join with us in prayer, especially on behalf of the Christian judges in Kazakhstan. Pray that any measures threatening their basic human rights -- including the expression of their faith -- will not be approved. In fact, we pray that throughout the deliberation process, these judges will be granted a platform among their peers to voice their beliefs and demonstrate their high standard of Biblically based ethics. May the country's believers in no way be hindered from worshipping their Creator or sharing their faith with others.

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Country Information

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)

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.


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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