Where Persecution Comes From
Christian persecution in Kazakhstan comes from both the government and the Muslim population in the Central Asian country. Since 2010, the regime has enacted repressive policies, strict media controls and legislative restrictions designed to maintain power. The government is staunchly secular and attempts to keep all religions, including Christianity, under control. Government officials at all levels persecute Christians, from the central government that imposes restrictive legislation to the local authorities who raid religious meetings, detain believers and confiscate religious materials. Christians face nearly constant surveillance. Muslim family members, friends, communities and imams all make life difficult for believers, particularly those engaged in evangelism.
How Christians are Suffering
While all Christian communities in Kazakhstan experience some form of persecution, Russian Orthodox believers experience it least; they usually avoid contact with the Kazakh population. Indigenous Christians from Muslim backgrounds bear the brunt of the persecution at the hands of authorities, families, friends and communities. The government is constantly working to maintain and increase its control over society, using surveillance, raids and detentions. The threat of militant Islam is used as an excuse to restrict freedoms, resulting in worsening conditions for the Christian minority.
In December 2015, Yklas Kabduakasov, a Seventh-day Adventist, was sentenced to two years in a labor camp for discussing his faith with students (who were recruited by the secret police) in a flat the secret police had rented.
In September 2016, two people were fined for offering unsolicited Christian literature to villagers in East Kazakhstan. Two months later, in October and November, the Kazakhstan government officially rejected their appeals against the fines.
In May 2017, police raided a Baptist church service and arrested 21 people. They were fingerprinted, photographed and forced to give their personal information. Later, eight of them received summary fines without court hearings.
Pray for Kazakhstan
- Pray for healing and courage for those in Kazakhstan and Central Aisa who are beaten and imprisoned for leaving Islam and turning to Christ.
- Pray for the salvation of government authorities who seek to suppress or eradicate Christianity.
- Pray that Christian leaders under surveillance would experience the peace and rest only found in and through the love of Jesus.
Stories from Kazakhstan
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