Monday, October 09, 2006

Forum 18: Kazakhstan: More Fines for Baptists


Facing continued fines for unregistered religious activity in Kazakhstan, Baptists who refuse on principle to register have insisted to Forum 18 News Service that they will not pay the fines. 'We don't pay because we don't consider we're guilty. Kazakhstan's Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and says nothing about registration,' Pastor Yaroslav Senyushkevich told Forum 18. Kazakh religious state registration procedures can be highly intrusive in their demands for information - including demands to know the political views of members. One respected legal scholar disputes that registration is in law compulsory. The latest two known fines for unregistered religious activity have been for amounts equivalent to just under twice the estimated average monthly salary.

'The law is the law and we will keep on fining members of unregistered religious organisations,' Lyudmila Danilenko of the Justice Ministry told Forum 18.'"

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