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Kazakhstan: Christians Fined for Meeting Together to Worship

Kazakhstan: Christians Fined for Meeting Together to Worship

Three Christians in Kazakhstan have been fined for meeting together to worship, according to

Religious freedom in Kazakhstan has been increasingly coming under attack. In 2012, the government cut the number of officially-recognized faiths from nearly 50 to only 17. There are consequences for practising a faith which is not recognized by the government.

In 2015, the government gave police the power to impose fines without going through due process and holding a trial on those who practice an unauthorized religion.

"Such summary police fines haven't been used against us before," said one Christian who added that, in one instance, the police simply fined a Christian because they could. "No one explained to us why they've suddenly started doing this."

Although the fine of one of the three individuals was waived, concern over religious freedom in Kazakhstan remains high.

In addition to restricting religious freedom, Kazakhstan has seen an increase in Islamic extremist violence. Recently, a gunman killed three policemen and a civilian in the country. Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev called the shooting an act of terrorism.  

Publication date: July 19, 2016