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Religious situation in Kazakhstan is in pre-crisis state: IPS

25 april 2012, 14:11
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Religious situation in Kazakhstan has improved compared to the end of 2011, but is still in pre-crisis condition, Director for Analysis and Consulting of the Institute of Political Solutions Rustam Burnashev told Tengrinews.kz.

The index of religious tension in Kazakhstan varies from 27 to 62 points out of 100 from region to region. The country-wide average value is 46 points. According to Burnashev, targeted approach is required in the pre-crisis situation. He says that “no religion-related violence - like those that shook Kazakhstan in 2011 - was registered in the first quarter of this year in spite of the index of religious tension being relatively high”.

Burnashev advises to pay special attention to Aktobe, Atyrau, West-Kazakhstan and Mangistau oblasts that are the zones of the most intense confrontations of views of different religious groups, confessions and state authorities. Besides, attention should be paid to Astana and Almaty as they are the most attractive targets for resonant (politically motivated) terrorist acts masked off for religion-driven ones.

“Two key tendencies were registered in the first quarter of 2011,” the expert says. “These are: moderate activation of official religious structures and state authorities dealing with religious issues and activation of the criticism of the state's religion-related policies in the media,” he says.

Earlier orientalist Rassul Zhumaly said that extremist tendencies in Kazakhstan may be growing not only because of poor religious literacy, but also because of social tension, youth’s problems and unemployment.

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