Tuesday, 24 September 2013

KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor Arrested After Praying for Sick

Date of Bulletin: 18 September 2013

Kazakhstan Flag

Persecution has been steadily increasing in Kazakhstan since the introduction of a harsh religion law in 2011. The recent arrest of a pastor continues that trend.

According to both ASSIST News and Forum 18 News, 67-year-old Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev has been detained in a psychiatric center after praying for the sick. The pastor has been charged with "harming health," and authorities hope to have him declared insane. This recent arrest, combined with pending changes to Kazakhstan's criminal code that increase punishment for missionary activity, reflects the government's tightening control over religious rights.

Forum 18 News reports that a law proposed in March would allow authorities to imprison those who share their faith for up to four months. If passed, the law will be the first to rule faith-based actions a criminal offense since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991.

Please Pray!

Pray that charges against Pastor Kashkumbayev will be dropped and he will be released. Pray for his family, who have not been allowed to see him since his arrest in May. Pray that they will all remain firm in the Lord and not lose hope. Pray that the proposed law allowing religious leaders to be imprisoned does not pass.

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." Prov. 29:25

To learn more about the challenges facing Christians in Kazakhstan, visit the VOM Restricted Nations map.

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