According to the Open Doors international organisation, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, Kazakstan, along with three other Central Asian states, has been listed as a country where it’s “most dangerous to follow Jesus”. Meanwhile, Astana positions the country as a “model of religious freedom and tolerance”.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent body of the US government, established on a bipartisan basis in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. The Commission monitors the observance of the universal right to freedom of religion and belief abroad. Using international standards to monitor violations of freedom of religion and belief abroad, the Commission develops policy recommendations for the president, secretary of state, and US Congress. (more…)
Buddhism in Uzbekistan is the fourth largest religious group by the number of followers in the country after Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is practised by 0.2 per cent of the population. This is the only place in Central Asia with the functioning Buddhist temple.
Lack of knowledge and information gap are the main causes of religious conflicts, leaders of various organisations said. They tell about difficulties and build up dialogue with each other within the framework of the interreligious council.
Raids on Baptists, refusal to register religious organisations, persecutions and surveillance over representatives of certain faiths – all these facts have been reported in Uzbekistan by human rights activists despite the reforms declared by the authorities. There’s an opinion that persecutions of Protestants become more intensive under the pretext of countering missionary activities.
3,257 religious organisations are registered in Kyrgyzstan, including only one Buddhist. It was hard to find it since Kyrgyzstan has no pagodas. However, there’s an unusual summer house in Gornaya Mayevka near Bishkek, which is called by Buddhists “The place of path”, run by a Buddhist monk.
Our journalistic investigation revealed that “economic problems, lack of money and labor migration” are the main factors of the radicalization of some Isfara residents … But some of the accused also said that their religious freedoms were limited in their homeland. (more…)