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Kazakhstan: Church Closes 'Voluntarily' to Avoid Forced Closure

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Jun 10
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A church in Kazakhstan closed voluntarily after the pastor's wife was fined for holding worship meetings in her home -- the church's legal address, Voice of the Martyrs reports. After paying the fine, the church decided to close in order to avoid further punishment. Church officials said they would have eventually been shut down if they hadn't closed on their own. Pastor Valery Kim and his wife, Larissa, said they would not re-register the church because they could not collect the 50 signatures required for re-registration under Kazakhstan's 2011 Religion Law, which prohibits all exercise of religion or belief without state permission, making any future church activity illegal.