Jehovah's Witnesses Are Target of Religious Discrimination Laws in Kazakhstan

ANGELA XIU is licensed under CC BY 2.0

New Report Reveals Startling Trend of Religious Persecution

The New Human Rights Watch Report for 2018 has been released. The annual report is the ruling standard for the state of human rights in each region and country. It is used by governments and non-profit organizations for both praising and criticizing.

One particular point that was mentioned is the continued state of religious persecution in Kazakhstan. As WRN has reported, Jevohahs Witnesses have been the subject of a targeted campaign by the Kazkstani government using laws that are supposedly designed to stop religious extremism. At least 22 people have been convicted of “inciting religious discord.”

There have also been restrictions on religious expression. Legislation has been passed that censors religious literature, bans the teaching of religion in school, and tightens travel. Recently Kazakhstan stops anyone under the age of 16 from entering a house of worship.

The United States has not been willing to challenge Kazakhstan on their human rights abuses. President Trump meet with Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev and did not even mention human rights. In fact, in June Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the country for their commitment to human rights. European and the United Nations have been relatively quiet about it as well.

This continues the pattern of Jehovah’s Witness being targeted in countries that receive support from Russia has been occurring for the last several years. WRN reported that some experts argue that the influence of Russia, which has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses, has caused other countries to use the cover of protecting against terrorism to further practice systematic religious discrimination.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter