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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 presently in the works to further tighten certain religious restrictions in the country.

Places of worship are being closely monitored by authorities to determine if any laws have been contravened. A Baptist church in the city of Oral, which was previously fined, is regularly being visited by an official who sits in the back of the sanctuary to monitor the church's services, watching and writing down the names of those present. The service is also recorded, despite requests from church members to stop doing so. In response to the situation, one member, Nikolai Novikov, countered with this interesting perspective: "Let [the official] come and hear the Word of God."

Under proposed legislative changes, there will be new restrictions placed on all meetings taking place outside of a building owned by a registered religious community. These changes would then be added to the existing registration requirements. For further information on the difficulties encountered by Christians in Kazakhstan, go to our country report.

Pray for wisdom and discernment as church leaders in Kazakhstan, along with their congregation members, seek ways to meet the needs of their communities in the midst of the country's changing regulatory rules. May they find innovative ways to effectively reach out to those around them with the message of God's peace in these unprecedented times. May the Lord speak clearly into the hearts of the officials monitoring the church services, working by His Holy Spirit in and through their lives so that His great Kingdom purposes will ultimately be fulfilled.

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Country Information

Population
19,091,949 (July 2020 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

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

  • 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

    ...
  • Three Pastors Sentenced
    New Life Church property in Almaty - Photo: Ivan Kryukov
    New Life Church property in Almaty
    Photo: Ivan Kryukov (cc)

    Three self-exiled pastors have been sentenced to terms up to five years for leading the New Life Pentecostal Church in the city of Almaty. The sentences were announced on November 1st, when the court rejected their latest appeal. The foun

    ...

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