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20 percent of Kazakhstan's religious institutions will not pass re-registration

08 november 2011, 17:02
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Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
A majority of religious institutions will pass re-registration in Kazakhstan without any problems, while about 20 percent of them will be denied one, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing senior of National Center of Culture and Religions of Kazakhstan Agency on Religion Amanbek Mukashev.

“All the religious institutes will have to be re-registered within one year. There is an opinion that over a half of the existing 4.5 thousand public unions will fail to obtain a new registration. This is not true. I expect only about 20 percent to be denied the permission,” Mukashev said.

He pointed out that the law was adopted not to stop activities of any “unwanted or disputable” public unions. He reminded that according to the Law on Religious Activities and Religious Institutions, the minimum requirement for creation of a public union was raised from 10 to 50 people for local religious institution, 500 people for regional institutions and 5,000 for nation-wide religious unions. According to Mukashev, the purpose of this reform is to “systematize the existing religious unions”. Up to 1,000 country-level religious unions will become “regional and local at best,” he said.

According to the expert, the public unions that he expectes to be denied registration are the ones specializing not in a religion, but in commerce, education or medical treatment. Mukashev reminded that the law provides administrative liability for illegal religious activities. He said that there had been around 20 public unions registered as non-religious ones that in fact were involved in religious activities.

As of January 1, 2011, there were are 4,479 religious institutions in Kazakhstan, including 2,756 Islamic, 1,256 Protestant, 303 Orthodox, 87 Catholic, 27 Judaic and 5 Buddhist. 284 people were officially registered as missionaries.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that the law On religious activities and religious institutions was signed on October 13. It bans prayer rooms from public offices, unregistered religious activities at the territory of Kazakhstan and requires re-registration of all the religious institutions.

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