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Religion law amendments in Kazakhstan could hurt ministry

By May 18, 2005

Kazakhstan (MNN) — Controversial sweeping amendments to eleven laws – including the religion law – were approved by Kazakhstan’s lower house of parliament. If approved by the upper Senate, could mean less religious freedom.

Bible Mission International’s Malcolm Smith says he’s very concerned. He says Kazakh Christians are most concerned about restrictions that will be placed on religious education of children. “Our childrens outreach program, our summer camp ministry, our transitional type ministries that we do for street kids and orphans, all those would substantially be wiped out because the government would say that no one could be involved in teaching children except parents or teachers that are certified by the state.”

There’s no word on when the upper Senate will review the revisions. Smith says it would be a blow to their work. “We would have to change significantly and we would go through an immediate organizational change and come up with a new strategy of how we would work.”

While Bible Mission International is asking Christians worldwide to pray for the defeat of these changes, Smith says plans are moving forward for summer outreach. “At this point all our plans for the summer are still on. We’re still moving ahead at full strength. The local churches there are very excited about these opportunities that are still in front of them.”

This is a crucial time. You’re investment of $25 can send a young person to Christian camp, perhaps for the last time in it’s current structure. Pray that many people will respond to this need so many young people can come to Christ.

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