Posted by: becketfund | November 6, 2008

Kyrgyzstan: New Restrictive Religion Law Passed

BISHKEK – Kyrgyz deputies passed legislation Thursday to strengthen government control over religious groups, the AP reported on November 6. Under the bill, proselytism would be severely curtailed and faith organizations would be obliged to disclose financial information to the authorities.  Zainidin Kurmanov, one of the lawmakers who proposed the bill, said the bill includes a ban on private religious teaching at all levels of education, outlawing private religious schools while providing for religious education in public schools. Kurmvanov said that the dissemination of religious literature in public places will also be prohibited. The measures are seen as a government attempt to quell concern about the influence of foreign Christian evangelical groups and fear of radical Islamic organizations.  Religious freedom advocacy groups have said that the bill, if implemented, would violate Kyrgyz commitments to protecting human rights.

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