Children’s ministry is Kazakhstan is in danger.

By December 15, 2003

Kazakhstan (MNN) — It’s a country that’s predominately Muslim. So it’s no wonder a Christian ministry is having trouble with outreach to children in Kazakhstan.

Bible Mission International’s Malcolm Smith says the head of their children’s ministry was summoned by authorities and told he didn’t have the right to conduct religious activity outside the church. He says, “It was at that time that he was informed what he was doing we illegal.”

This follows a move two years ago to enforce a similar policy, not a law, from the top of the government down. Smith says, “That kind of fell apart at the top levels as people from the west put pressure on the government. We think that perhaps their strategy has changed.”

Smith says while a decision wasn’t reached, he’s concerned. “What we’re worried about in this particular instance and what the legal council has told us is that this could set a very dangerous precedent and could virtually wipe out existing children’s ministries all across Kazakhstan and other republics in central Asia,” says Smith.

Smith is asking believers to pray. “This has sweeping ramifications for what happens the rest of the year. The clubs that they have in the schools and in the apartment complexes is primarily AWANA Clubs and some other outreach clubs. But, this will also affect what they will do in the summer and in the fall when they do their camping programs.”

No word on when final decision will be reached in the matter. Bible Mission officials say this won’t stop their outreach.

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