WORLD WATCH LIST

Kazakhstan

#47

The law restricts religious freedom, and Christians face surveillance, raids, and arrests.

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“The more brutally they beat me, the more I saw their need for a loving Messiah.”

– Khan*, a believer from Central Asia

Country
Profile

Region
Central Asia
Sources of persecution
Dictatorial Paranoia
Population
18,957,000
Christian population
4,847,000
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Score
64
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

Christian freedom in Kazakhstan is severely restricted under legislation. Surveillance, raids on meetings, fines, and arrests are part of Christian life. Authorities use the threat of Islamic extremism to tighten their control on religious freedom.

The past year has seen several believers face fines for selling Christian literature and objects. Christians from Muslim backgrounds face opposition closer to home, from family, friends, and neighbours. They could face house arrest, beatings, or expulsion from the community.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

The tight control of Christians by the Kazakh government can happen across the country. Pressure on those who have left Islam to follow Jesus is stronger in rural areas, and comes from their own families and communities.

Traditionalist views consider women to be subservient to men, and female converts to Christianity are at greater risk of suffering physical and verbal abuse, threats, house arrest, and forced marriage. Christian women may also be targeted as a means of persecuting their husbands.

PRAY FOR KAZAKHSTAN

– Pray that the Lord will provide for those who have been fined for Christian activities.

– Pray that the faith of our brothers and sisters facing persecution will not be shaken.

– Pray that Kazakh authorities will give Christians more freedom to express their faith.

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