Jail for practicing your religion?

Monday, April 8, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

kazakhstan christianASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (Worthy News)-- In Kazakhstan, anyone who shares their faith could be jailed under proposed new laws that would increase the penalties for those practicing their religion.

The General Prosecutor's Office said the intent of the new laws is to prevent extremist activity.

The final draft of these laws are expected to be approved by the government before going to parliament in July. Currently, the draft can make exercising one's freedom of religion -- formerly an administrative offense punishable only by fine -- a criminal offense that can also include "corrective" labor, community service or imprisonment for up to six months, according to Barnabas Aid.

Kazakhstan is also preparing a new code of stricter administrative offenses.

The proposed new laws follow Kazakhstan's oppressive Religion Law; introduced in 2011, it imposes severe limitations on religious freedoms.