ICC calls for release of Kazakhstan Pastor

Monday, July 15, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

kazakhstan christianASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (Worthy News)-- International Christian Concern is calling for the immediate release of a pastor in Kazakhstan who has been falsely imprisoned.

Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev of Grace Church in Astana was arrested May 17 for harming the health of his congregation by allegedly adding hallucinogens to the red tea used for common communion. Two days later, Kashkumbayev was locked-up in a "Temporary Isolation Prison" on unspecified charges while awaiting trial, according to Forum 18.

"As ridiculous as it may seem to accuse Pastor Bakhytzhan of lacing communion juice with hallucinogens, this type of harassment is common," said Corey Bailey, ICC's Regional Manager for Central Asia. "Kazakhstan has a reputation for horrible treatment of prisoners; the longer Pastor Bakhytzhan remains in prison, the higher the chance he will be tortured ..."

To show support for Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev, please contact Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Embassy of Kazakhstan at (202) 232-5488.