Saturday, July 13, 2013

Help free a wrongfully arrested pastor in Kazakhstan

Help free a wrongfully arrested pastor in Kazakhstan!‏

Although it rarely if ever makes the headlines in the Western world, Kazakhstan is home to one of the most brutal regimes in Central Asia. Under a government that traces its roots to the Soviet Union, religious minorities face harsh restrictions on their activities and any missionary activity is completely forbidden. Churches must be registered to operate, but the government rarely grants a church registration, leaving the majority of Christians to worship illegally or not at all.

In October things took a turn for the worst when police stormed Grace Church in the capital of Astana. They detained members for questioning and soon hurled wiled accusations at the church pastor, Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev,  accusing him of putting hallucinogens in the communion juice. The charges were simply an excuse to harass the church until last month when police decided to arrest Pastor Kashkumbayev and lock him away in Astana's "Temporary Isolation Prison" where he will remain for at least the next two months as charges are brought against him.

Kazakhstan has an infamous reputation for treating their prisoners terribly. Conditions are horrible and some prisoners die after sustained beatings by guards. We must do everything we can to ensure Pastor Kashkumbayev is released immediately. The longer he remains imprisoned the greater the chance he will be tortured, beaten, and mistreated. Lend your voice to ours and call on the Kazakhgovernment to release Pastor Kashkumbayev today!  

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