Christians face more persecution in Kazakhstan

By April 5, 2010

Kazakhstan (MNN) — A Baptist pastor does know what his future brings but is trusting God.

Forum 18 News reports Kazakhstan has left threats to deport Viktor Leven "hanging in the air." The now-stateless Baptist, who is Kazakh-born, was convicted of missionary activity without state permission, and because he and his wife do not have passports, they cannot either obtain paid work or travel by train. He and his family live on what they can grow themselves.

Another Baptist, Zhanna-Tereza Raudovich, who was fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage for hosting worship in her home, has had an appeal against the fine rejected and has appealed to the Supreme Court.

Akmola Regional Police held a seminar on ways of struggling against religious extremism, during which Baptists were associated with terrorism. Asked why this association was made, police told Forum 18 that Baptists were not extremists but they "do violate the law often" as they continue religious activity without official registration.

Churches like those Leven pastors have applied for registration, but the government has failed to grant it.

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