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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

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 Senate - Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ
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    Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ (cc)

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