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A fortress in Kazakhstan

During the summer months of 2017, courts have banned various religious communities from conducting any activities -- including meeting for worship -- for three months. On August 18th, a court fined and banned New Life Protestant Church in Oskemen because its church members sang religious songs at a summer camp. According to Eldar Meirbayev of the Regional Religious Affairs Department, the church should have obtained written permission but had not; therefore, a record of an offence was drawn up. The ban has not yet come into force as the church is appealing to the East Kazakhstan Regional Court.

On July 10th, a court in Almaty Region fined a local pastor, Marat Tlegenov, and five foreign visitors for illegal "missionary activity" after the group had held an outdoor baptismal service two days earlier. All were fined and one of the foreigners was ordered to be deported. The court also banned the believers from conducting unspecified activities for three months.

Presently, religious communities are only banned permanently if the state proves or claims that they are "extremist" or "terrorist," or if they commit a second "offence" against the restrictive Religion Law. However, Kazakhstan -- in defiance of its international human rights commitments -- bans all exercise of freedom of religion or belief without state permission. This means that religious communities which either do not apply, or are unable to gain state registration, are in effect banned and risk punishment if they continue to meet for worship.

Learn more about the hardships facing believers in this part of the world by going to the Kazakhstan country report.

Although the rights of Kazakhstan's citizens to freely worship the Lord are being restricted, pray that these believers will not be hindered from honouring Him by truly living out their faith. May they especially experience His reassuring presence by worshipping Him "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). In addition, please intercede for the court officials, that their hearts will also be touched by the Spirit of the Living God. As they sense His life-changing love and witness the strong faith of these Christians, may they come to know Him in a profoundly personal and meaningful way.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC has come alongside project partners to offer an English camp as an opportunity for evangelism and outreach among youth and young adults. Camp participants are invited to embrace the Good News of the Gospel through the platform of the English Camps.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

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