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Kazakh authorities raid Protestant churches

Catholic World News - October 19, 2012

Masked police officers in Kazakhstan have raided two Protestant churches in recent days, seizing books that were classified as “extremist” and taking blood samples from parishioners, the Forum 18 news service reports.

Police say the Grace Church in Astana and the New Life Church in Oral were searched in connection with a criminal complaint brought by a woman who claims that a Protestant group harmed her child’s health. The police reportedly asked for blood samples to test whether the congregations were using hallucinogenic drugs.

Parishioners at both churches fear that the police raids were preludes to a bid to force the congregations to renew a lengthy process of legal registration.

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