Monday, December 19, 2011

New draft regulations outline official religious censorship in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) has prepared – but not yet adopted – new regulations to implement the system of compulsory state censorship of almost all religious literature and objects, reports Forum 18 News Service. The regulations for "expert analyses" will also apply to religious organizations' statutes.

Without such ARA approval, religious books cannot be imported (apart from small quantities) or distributed, and religious organizations will not be able to gain state registration. The draft regulations make no provisions for any challenges to ARA's censorship decisions.

In addition to the censorship regulations, the ARA and various other state bodies are also preparing other regulations to implement October's harsh new Religion Law (for more information, click here).

These include regulations on how religious communities must register or re-register, how local and foreign citizens wanting to engage in whatever state officials define as "missionary activities" must register, how and where places of worship are allowed to be built, where worship can take place outside registered places of worship, where religious books and materials are allowed to be sold, and what names religious communities are allowed to give to their places of worship.

Please pray!
  • Pray that these new regulations will not be adopted.
  • Pray that the Lord will give believers in Kazakhstan boldness and tenacity to proclaim the Gospel despite these new potential restrictions.
  • Ask the Lord to provide opportunity and means to flood this nation with His Holy Word.
To learn more about the trials Christians face in Kazakhstan, go to the Kazakhstan Country Report.

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