Officers issued four summary fines totalling about nine months’ average wages with no court hearings. Such fines for meeting for worship are increasing, Baptists complained to Forum 18.
In a separate case, a court in the southern city of Almaty has banned a Protestant church from meeting for three months.
The court also fined the church for holding a meeting for worship in a place other than its registered address. An Indian citizen associated with the church is appealing against a fine and deportation order.
An official of Almaty’s Religious Affairs Department, Karshyga Malik, said on 24 April that the administrative cases against the church and the Indian citizen were among 33 it had launched since the beginning of 2017. The cases were to punish those who meet without state permission, meet in places without state permission, distribute religious literature without state permission or talk to others of their faith without state permission.
Police raids on congregations of the Council of Churches Baptists are frequent. They choose to meet for worship without seeking state registration.
Source: Forum 18 News Service
- Pray these Christians will be emboldened to continue to follow the Lord and encourage one another in the faith. Pray for opportunities to meet.
- Commit to the Lord those who have been fined and the Indian citizen facing deportation.
- Ask the Lord to give wisdom to church leaders when dealing with authorities.