Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pastor charged for praying for the sick in Kazakhstan

Authorities have recently brought several
allegations against Christians in Kazakhstan.
Forum 18 News Service is reporting that a criminal case has been brought against a pastor in Kazakhstan for allegedly harming an individual’s health by praying for them.

The National Security Committee (KNB) secret police are charging Pastor Yerzhan Ushanov of the New Life Protestant Church in Taraz under Criminal Code Article 111 (“causing severe damage to health due to negligence”). After an alleged complaint of food poisoning, Extremism and Terrorism Police also raided the church’s Sunday service while the KNB searched Pastor Ushanov’s home.

"This is not the first time the authorities in southern regions of Kazakhstan bring such absurd accusations against pastors for allegedly using hypnosis, while in reality all they do is pray for the sick," New Life Church members told Forum 18. In April 2010, another pastor, Vissa Kim, was charged for allegedly harming a woman’s health by praying for her.

This latest incident adds to a long list of allegations against Christians by authorities in Kazakhstan. In June, we reported on two members of the Protestant Grace Church who were fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage for unregistered religious activity. Another pastor, Andrei Panafidin, was also fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage in recent months.

For the full brief of recent allegations against Christians in Kazakhstan, please read Forum 18’s article here.

To learn more about persecution in Kazakhstan, please visit our Country Report.

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