Posted by: becketfund | December 12, 2007

Kazakhstan: Jehovah’s Witnesses Denied Legal Status

Forum 18 reports on December 12 that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Caspian Sea port town of Atyrau is the latest religious community to run into problems with Kazakh authorities, this time over the group’s registration. Kazakh authorities deemed the lack of a work phone number on the community’s application sufficient grounds to reject the application, leaving the community without legal registration, which will put them at risk for fines and imprisonment if they are caught engaging in “unregistered worship”. Other faith communities in the region have likewise run into problems with the local government; last summer, one of the area’s independent Muslim communities was forced to hand over their mosque to the government-backed Muftiate.

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