Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kazakhstan Is Closing Unregistered Religious Organizations Through Court Proceedings

Last October, Kazakhstan enacted a new, more restrictive Religion Law. (See prior posting.) Under it, religious organizations had one year to register, or re-register, with the state. Forum 18 reported Tuesday that the Kazakhstan government is enforcing closure through the courts of Christian and Muslim religious institutions that have not met the registration deadline.  Some have consented to their closure in exchange for a promise that they can continue to operate as a branch of another registered community of the same faith. Others, such as the Azerbaijani Fatimai Shia Muslim Mosque in Almaty Region, the Tautan Molla Mosque in Karaganda Region. and the Light of the World Pentecostal Church in South Kazakhstan Region have been closed against their will.