Wednesday, 19 March 2014

KAZAKHSTAN UPDATE: Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbaev

Date of Bulletin: 12 March 2014



Bakhytzhan Kashkumbaev, the retired pastor of Grace Church in Astana, Kazakhstan, was released on Feb. 17 after spending nine months in jail awaiting trial on a charge of "intentionally inflicting serious harm to health." He was convicted of the charge and received a four-year suspended sentence after the family of a church member accused him of putting drugs in the Communion drink. The court ordered Kashkumbaev to pay his alleged victim large "moral damages" as well as all court expenses, experts' fees and lawyers' fees (around $20,000).

"In my experience as a lawyer, this is one of the strangest cases I have seen in terms of legality," said Nurlan  Beysekeyev, Pastor Kashkumbaev's lawyer. "It was not just strange, but from the standpoint of the law all types of violations occurred, when the case was opened, when it was being investigated and during the trial."

Kashkumbaev plans to appeal the conviction.

Forum 18 News Service, VOM Sources

Please Pray!

  • Thank God for Pastor Kashkumbaev's release. 
  • Pray that the truth will prevail and he will be absolved of any  wrongdoing.
  • Pray that he and his family will continue to stand firm and grow stronger in faith through the turmoil.

"Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler."
Psalm 91:3-6

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

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