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KYRGYZSTAN: Repressive New Religion Laws Considered

The State Commission of Religious Affairs (SCRA) in Kyrgyzstan has proposed new religion laws. The laws currently in effect in this Central Asian country already require registration of churches and limit how churches can form, but the proposed laws are even more stringent. The laws require registration and regular re-registration as well as intrusive reporting procedures. They also set the minimum size for an organization restrictively high and require “founding members” to provide signatures and identifying information, opening individual Christians up to surveillance and harassment. The laws allow the SCRA to submit a church’s beliefs to “expert analysis” and require SCRA permission for any religious education or offsite activities. Even names, logos and symbols of organizations would require SCRA authorization. Penalties for violations are expected to be harsher than before. Pray that these laws would not be passed.

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