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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Churches, Prayer Rooms Closed in Kazakhstan Prisons

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2011 Nov 15
  • Comments

Kazakhstan has recently closed churches, prayer rooms and mosques in prisons, citing two laws restricting freedom of religion or belief before they came into force, International Christian Concern reports. Aliya Kadenova of the Interior Ministry said: "Mosques and Russian Orthodox churches were built in prisons in violation of building regulations and the law. They are illegal -- that's why they are being closed down." Religious leaders have complained to the government and are questioning why, if the worship rooms had been built illegally, no prison governors had been prosecuted. "How can these Orthodox churches have been built illegally?" said Aleksandr Suvorov of the Astana and Almaty Orthodox Diocese. "Prisons are zones under the strictest of controls." Some prisoners have been put in solitary confinement for continuing to pray, under the watch of the secret police.