Kazakh Police Break Up Worship, Arrest Pastor and Family

May 3, 2011

A congregation in Kazakhstan experienced police persecution in early May. A native missionary pastor and others were arrested, and are being secretly held in custody according to leaders associated with ministry.

Along with the pastor and his wife and children, the police also arrested the church administrator and his wife. They cut off power to the church building during services. No word has been heard from those who were arrested - nor was any reason given for break up the legally registered church services.

Police arresting pastor and his family in Kazakhstan

According to a visiting preacher at the service, security forces from the government deliberately attempted to break up the worship services and provoke resistance from the pastor and people. However, the Christians peacefully went on praying and worshipping despite the disruption. When electric power to church building was cut off, the believers continued to sing and praise the Lord in the dark.

Congregations in other Kazakh towns have also been persecuted in a similar manner. In October 2010 the KGB stopped the sermon and turned off the electricity in one church and in 2009 the sermon was stopped at a church meeting in Aktobinsk.

The Republic of Kazakhstan boasts a booming economy and has struggled to establish religious freedom after decades of harsh Soviet rule. There are 76 people groups in the vast country which has a large land area. There is a fast-growing Christian community among the Kazakhs and they continue to preach the gospel. Christian Aid has been sending financial aid to indigenous ministries there for 20 years.