More pressure facing Christians in Kazakhstan

By March 14, 2007

Kazakhstan (MNN) — Christians are facing increasing amounts
of oppression in Kazakhstan. According to Forum 18 News, on March 7, an
administrative court in the southern city of Shymkent sentenced Pastor Fauzi
Gubaidullin to three days in prison for leading an unregistered Baptist church
and refuses to abide by a court order banning it for three months.

In Aktobe in late February, a washing machine and car were
among items confiscated from a Baptist preacher to cover unpaid fines levied in
punishment for peaceful religious activity.

Shymkent congregation member Yuri Pfafenrot says life for
Council of Churches Baptists in Kazakhstan is getting tougher. "First they
came and offered us registration, but we refused," he told Forum 18 News
Service. "Now they insist that we register, and when we don't they hand
down big fines or even launch criminal cases."

Backing the Baptists' demands for an end to compulsory
registration is the Human Rights Ombudsperson, Bolat Baikadamov, but he told
Forum 18 it is up to religious believers to pressure parliamentary deputies to
abolish this requirement. However, current plans to amend the Religion Law seek
to make it even more restrictive.

Pray that God would change the hearts of government leaders
in Kazakhstan.

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