kazakhstan religion law
He also insisted that Kazakhstan — where about 70 percent of the population identifies itself as Muslim, and another 25 percent as Orthodox Christian — “is for the entire world an example of interfaith harmony.”. In particular, it was created to focus on the development of the country’s youth. Astana divides religions into “traditional” (including Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Buddhism) and “non-traditional” -- which includes a broad spectrum of smaller denominations, some with strong missionary elements, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Hare Krishnas, Ahmadi Muslims and Sufis. The reforms recommended by the OSCE and Venice Commission will help Uzbeks abide by the law.

“One of the problems is that when people have an interest in hiding their activities from the state because the state is being very intrusive, then it does become more difficult for the government to know what they’re up to,” Felix Corley of the Oslo-based Forum 18 religious freedoms watchdog told EurasiaNet.org. A more fruitful approach would be to accept the premises of the Kazakh model, and rather than take an antagonistic approach, work with Kazakh authorities to improve the country’s policies in the religious field. Overall, the reviewers conclude that the draft law “should be substantially revised in order to ensure its full compliance with international human rights standards and OSCE human dimension commitments.” While the prognosis is unfavorable, there is still time to make amendments. Moving forward, the law gives officials a powerful tool to enforce a state-designed religious orthodoxy. In 2018, Bobomurod Abdullaev walked out of jail in Uzbekistan after a surprising conclusion to a case levied against him by the state. And, of course, any member of the organization is supposed to adhere to basic human rights standards. Astana is seeking “a completely controlled religious environment,” he added, “but history shows that it just doesn’t work like that.”.

This priority has continued under former President […], Executive Summary  Until recently, regional cooperation among Central Asian states has left much to be desired.


For instance, burdensome registration schemes only penalize groups wanting to operate legally and above ground. Uzbekistan has a real opportunity to cement its significant gains, turn away from its authoritarian past, and reclaim its place as a Central Asian leader. Speaking to EurasiaNet.org after a lively Sunday morning service at Almaty’s Sun Bok Ym Pentecostal Church, Pastor Vasiliy Shegay said his group had its registration application turned down initially, but gained approval on a second attempt. He is currently a senior fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement, thanks to a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust. It traces the framework of Western policies to the […], Since Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, its government has sought to maximize its national security and sovereignty by limiting dependence on foreign actors. Kazakhstan’s model is by no means perfect. The closure of religious groups is a “purge,” he suggested, intended “to abolish religions that are inconvenient to the state.”. Officials in Astana tout the country as a bastion of toleration, yet they are making it harder for those practicing what are deemed non-traditional faiths to worship openly.

Saidov said, “We must look at our area [Central Asia] differently,” considering historical differences. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The results were stark: President Nursultan Nazarbayev used to proudly proclaim that Kazakhstan welcomed over 40 officially-recognized faiths, but that number has been slashed by about 60 percent, from 46 to 17. “We Christians are treated well,” he said. These are typically prosecuted under a provision in Kazakhstan’s criminal code that prohibits propagandizing the superiority of one religion over another. While some groups were benign, there were also Salafi-Jihadi groups seeking to establish themselves in the country. And while continuity is present in terms […], This book argues that American and European policies toward Central Asia and the Caucasus suffer from both conceptual and structural impediments. While the clerical establishment rests firmly on Hanafi Sunni Islam, Kazakhstan developed …

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