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The Kazakh Parliament
Kazakhstan's Parliament Buildings
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kazakhstan is on the verge of passing legislation which proposes changes to the 2011 Religion Law, Administrative Code, and many other laws. The Religious Affairs Committee refused to explain why the Amending Law does not remove any restrictions from the existing law, even though they violate Kazakhstan's international human rights obligations. There was also no explanation regarding the addition of further restrictions.

The draft Amending Law, which at the time of the reports was undergoing review by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, imposes new restrictions on the freedom of religion or belief, including the compulsory re-registration of all previously registered non-Muslim and non-Russian Orthodox religious organizations. If adopted by parliament, the Amending Law would also introduce restrictions on religious education and the sharing of beliefs, along with increased censorship of literature, among many other concerns.

It is reported that while 1,300 Christian organizations have sought registration under the 2011 legislation, only 495 received state recognition. Experts warn that, if passed, the proposed legislation could lead to a series of closures of religious organizations in Kazakhstan. To learn more about the challenges faced by Kazakhstani believers, review VOMC's country report.

In light of the pending legislation, pray that Kazakhstan's lawmakers would recognize the benefits of permitting religious freedom to the citizens of their country and the consequences of adopting the proposed Amending Law. May they be granted wisdom from the Most High God whose decrees are designed to administer true justice, righteous order and peace among all people groups. Pray that regardless of the outcome, the Christians of this nation will stand firm upon the Word of God whose statues are absolute and will always accomplish His higher purposes (Isaiah 55:11) -- despite the frailties, limitations and rebellion of humankind. May His people graciously represent Him so that those who are spiritually seeking may indeed discover "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).

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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

    ...

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