Kazakhstan: Children's Christian Camp Raided

Monday, August 24, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Kazakh authorities recently raided a church-run children's camp after claiming the children were being taught religion illegally and without their parents' permission.

According to Barnabas Aid, on the morning of July 30 about 20 government officials stormed the camp and seized posters, signs and prizes that were intended for the children.

The raid was filmed and then rebroadcast by local media outlets.

“These extremist sects separate their children from the outside world, and 'zombify' them,” reported TV Eurasia. “When they grow up they listen to every command of their religious teachers and obey them even if they say to go and make a revolution on the street.”

However, the church running the camp was registered as required by Kazakh law and all the children in attendance had their parents' written permission. Yet Kazakh authorities still brought administrative charges against the camp's organizers.

According to Article 19 of the Constitution of Kazakhstan, Kazakhs have the option to both determine and indicate their own religious affiliations. But a law passed in 2011 required all religious institutions to officially re-register while the state made it more difficult to obtain that registration. The law also prohibits citizens from sharing their faith with others and censors all religious literature.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom placed Kazakhstan on its list of Tier 2 countries of governments that either engage in or tolerate serious violations of religious freedoms.