Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Kazakh prisoners denied access to church...

Email:

Kazakh prisoners denied access to churches and Christian literature

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Kazakh prisoners denied access to churches and Christian literature

Country/Region: Kazakhstan, Central Asia

Churches in prisons have been closed and Christian literature confiscated from prisoners as restrictive new religion laws come into force in Kazakhstan.

bars-4x3.jpg

An Interior Ministry aide said that the churches had been built illegally, despite their having been authorised by the prison authorities.

The first known closure took place at the end of October in the Almaty Region. Work to build the church had begun in 2008 by twelve volunteer prisoners, five of whom were baptised during the course of its construction. The Justice Ministry had approved the project.      

On 21 October, religious literature, including Bibles and New Testaments, and discs of films and sermons were confiscated from prisoners at a detention camp in Zhetikara in Kostanai Region. The camp authorities claimed that the law banned prisoners from having such material, though the Association of Religions of Kazakhstan said it was allowed for personal use.

There have also been reports of ministers being denied access to prisons to conduct services, as well as the closure of a prayer room used by Christians in a home for disabled people in Almaty. Mosques and prayer rooms for Muslims in prisons have also been closed.

The new Religion Law, which was signed into the statute book by President Nursultan Nazarbaev on 11 October, is ambiguous over what rights prisoners and other residents of state institutions have to exercise their religious freedom. And there have been contradictory statements by the authorities about its implementation.

Marat Azilkhanov, one of the deputy chairs of the Agency of Religious Affairs, said on 21 October that the Criminal Administration System Committee (CASC) would begin removing places of worship from prisons at the end of October. He said:

The law sets out a clear position: all places of worship, including prayer rooms, in corrective institutions and in places of deprivation of freedom of citizens must stop functioning.

But the following day CASC spokesperson Galymzhan Khasenov said that prayer rooms will still be able to function, while churches and other places of worship will be “reformulated” into libraries. He added that religious leaders would have to undergo a new licensing system in order to be able to visit prisons. 

There are 63 Christian places of worship and prayer rooms in Kazakh prisons.

International law defends the right of prisoners to freedom of religion or belief; UN regulations stipulate that “every prisoner shall be allowed to satisfy the needs of his/her religious life by attending the services provided in the institution and having in his/her possession the books of religious observance and instruction of his/her denomination”.   

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Kazakh prisoners denied access to churches and Christian literature

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 2 hours ago

    • A Christian from Loynam village in the Savannakhet province of Laos was arrested on the morning of 29 May and tied to a post before being imprisoned. Two weeks earlier, police and village security officers had gone to Mr Sort’s home and threatened him with eviction from the village and confiscation of all his property if he did not give up his faith. He refused, despite repeated attempts to coerce him. The village chief then seized around £300 of Mr Sort’s money. Give thanks that our brother, who has been a Christian for less than two years, has stood firm in his faith, and ask the Lord to renew his courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Iraqi Christians are losing even previously safe havens under the relentless assault of ISIS. On 25 June, the militant group attacked the historic Christian town of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, driving its mainly Christian population of around 40,000 to flee. Many Christians from Mosul had gone there after the fall of their own city earlier in the month. Kurdish forces were able to repel ISIS from the town, allowing some people to return to their homes for the time being, but their security remains extremely precarious. Pray that the ISIS advance will be stopped and that the Iraqi security forces will be able to regain the captured territory. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we cry out to You for the Christians left in Mosul, mostly elderly and sick, as they now face the threat of sharia penalties introduced by ISIS: the amputation of limbs for thieves, crucifixion for criminals and the death penalty for apostasy. We pray that You will protect them from the brutality of the militants. We pray for peace and healing for those who have already been threatened or attacked, and for the safe return of those who have been kidnapped. We pray too for those struggling to pay the humiliating jizya tax that the militants have imposed. We ask that the attempt to restore a united Islamic state under one ruler in the cross-border territory controlled by ISIS will come to nothing. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • The militant jihadist group ISIS launched a terrifying attack on Mosul, the second city of Iraq, on 6 June. They seized weapons, freed prisoners and looted and torched church buildings. Three days later, police came to senior church leaders there and advised the Christian community to leave. They fled immediately, leaving everything behind as they sought refuge in the Nineveh valley. The following day Mosul fell to the rebels. Barnabas sent emergency aid to support the Christians in their desperate need. The militants then advanced south, prompting Christians also to leave the city of Kirkuk. Pray for provision and protection for our displaced brothers and sisters and that they will find safety in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks