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Pastor deported from Kazakhstancomment (0)

October 4, 2013

Baptist pastor Viktor Lim was ordered deported from Kazakhstan for leading a registered religious community and left in mid-August. Lim, a stateless person, had lived in the country for 20 years and his wife and children are

Kazakh citizens. The authorities classed his action as "illegal missionary activity," which carries punishment of a fine and, for non-citizens, deportation.

“The appeal hearing lasted just 10 minutes — it was a pure formality," Lim told Forum 18 News Service.

Zhumagul Alimbekov, head of the Religious Affairs Department of Almaty Region, which lodged the suit against Lim, refused to discuss his deportation or the moves to deport Russian Orthodox priest Fr Sofrony. The written decision for Sofrony is scheduled to be issued Oct. 7.

"I can't comment on court decisions," Alimbekov told Forum 18.

When asked why foreign citizens or people who have no citizenship cannot exercise their

internationally-recognized right to freedom of religion or belief while legally residing in the country, Alimbekov put the phone down.


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