Protestant pastor jailed in Kazakhstan
July 15, 2013
The pastor of a Pentecostal church in Kazakhstan’s capital has been jailed since May on charges of “intentional inflicting of serious harm to health.” The case has raised concern among religious-liberty advocates, who call the charge baseless. Prosecutors allege that Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev carried out “charitable and religious activity by means of exerting psychological influence on church members, including with the use of stupefying substances with the aim of collecting gifts for the use of the association.” Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, has a population of 17.3 million that is 47% Muslim, 44% Eastern Orthodox, 2% Protestant, and 1% Catholic.
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