Religious freedom is losing even more ground in Kazakhstan: For the first time since the country gained independence in 1991, a court ordered religious literature to be destroyed.
Infringements of religious freedom in Kazakhstan are due in part to the country's newly adopted Religion Law. The law, which went into effect last year, requires all religious communities to register or re-register their organizations and churches with the government.
A former Uzbek house church pastor is in prison in Kazakhstan, awaiting a ruling whether he will be returned to his native country. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court considers whether to declare him a refugee in the face of almost-certain persecution.
A church in Kazakhstan closed voluntarily to avoid further punishment after the pastor's wife was fined for holding worship meetings in her home -- the church's legal address.
Kazakhstan has heightened its crackdown on religious freedom, stripping previously recognized religious groups of their registrations.
A month after two new far-reaching laws limiting religious freedom came into effect in Kazakhstan, the religious community is feeling the full effects.
Citing two laws restricting religious freedom, Kazakhstan has closed churches, prayer rooms and mosques in prisons.