KAZAKHSTAN: Raided Churches Ordered to Stop

By Forum 18

Three Baptist churches in the city of Taraz have been subjected to raids from anti-terrorism officers in recent weeks. Despite claiming “our laws don’t ban praying,” officials defend their punishment of those who meet for worship without state permission.

On February 10th, officers entered a home where a worship service was taking place. They filmed the worshippers and, at the end, demanded statements from some of the participants to explain why they were meeting without registration. Two brothers, Yakov and Viktor Fot, have been issued fines for their part in the unregistered meeting.

The following Sunday, February 17th, another worship service was raided. The attackers initially demanded statements from everyone in attendance, though they eventually only took statements from a few. The next day, Vitaly Ryzhkov was issued a fine and two others were given warnings.