Thursday, March 31, 2011

Worship banned in private homes, universities in Kazakhstan

Pray for religious freedom in Kazakhstan!
On March 4, Pastor Andrei Panafidin of Taraz, Kazakhstan, was fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage for leading unregistered religious worship, reported Forum 18 News Service.

This is the seventh time Pastor Panafidin has been fined for this "offense” local Baptists told Forum 18. He is the first Council of Churches Baptist in Kazakhstan known to have been fined since June 2010.

An officer of Jambyl Regional Directorate for the Struggle with Organized Crime—which took part in raids on the congregation—told Forum 18: "It's a violation if they don't register—all religious communities must be registered."

In Shymkent, a judge has banned the local New Life Pentecostal Church from holding worship in the house where the congregation is registered. And a local administration in Almaty has—with KNB secret police and Interior Ministry intervention—banned a university from renting its facilities to religious communities.

You can read the full report here.

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