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Published on 13 May, 2013

Anti-extremist program may hurt Christians

Kazakhstan (MNN) — Kazakhstan is again raising eye-brows. According to a report from Forum 18 News, the government would like to implement what they're calling a new State Program to Counter Religious Extremism and Terrorism for 2013-2017.

If adopted in its current form, all places of worship would require security systems and require the teaching of what the government calls "traditional religions."

President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba met with the Kazak Ambassador to the United States last week. "I was very much optimistic having a chance to openly discuss these issues, but when it comes from the reports from the ground like this, it shows there is a lot more that is to come."

Rakhuba is referring to additional restrictions to religious freedom for evangelical Christians. He believes the new program will put more pressure on evangelical churches and will create more difficulties for their work, but won't stop it. "That's why we are always trying to be proactive and finding ways we can continue to be effective in spite of all these difficulties. That's why School Without Walls perfectly fits this reality."

That program doesn't require registration or a permanent facility. "We provide non-formal training to these young potential leaders," says Rakhuba, "who live in the reality of the difficulties and continue leading their congregations and offering new outreach initiatives."

Although their summer camp ministry may be affected, "now we have to be more creative, so we're not just calling them Bible camps. We will do some other initiatives." Sport camps and other youth ministries will be used to share Christ this summer.

Russia Ministries needs your help to send 5,000 kids across the former Soviet Union to camp. How much does it cost? "$50. That helps us to send one child to summer camp for one week. That also includes a children's Bible or other Christian literature."

If you can help at least one child hear the Gospel this summer, click here.

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About Kazakhstan

  • Primary Language: Kazakh
  • Primary Religion: Islam
  • Evangelical: 0.7%
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