New laws with tougher restrictions on religious freedom are currently awaiting approval in Kazakhstan. The laws, which are currently being reviewed with the parliament’s Senate, would usher in harsh new punishments that are raising concerns among human rights defenders and religious communities.
Restrictions include up to 60 days of imprisonment for leading religious meetings without state permission, or up to 45 days in jail for attending such an event. At present, these offences are only punishable with fines. It would also become illegal to build places of worship in prisons.
The reported deadline for adopting the new laws is 15 June, with the laws scheduled to come into force as of 1 January 2015.
Source: Forum 18 News Service
- Pray that the authorities in Kazakhstan will seek to uphold and respect religious freedom for all, and that these proposed harsh restrictions will be overturned.
- Ask God to grant wisdom to the church leaders at this time as they navigate these possible changes.
- Pray the Lord will use these apparent hindrances to further His greater purposes for the church as a whole in Kazakhstan.