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Kazakh Baptists refuse to pay fines, jailed comment (0)

January 23, 2014

AKMOLA REGION, Kazakhstan — Two Baptists in Kazakhstan recently served 48 hours in jail after refusing to pay fines handed down in 2013 for worshipping and sharing their faith without the government’s permission.

Shoe-repairer Vyacheslav Cherkasov and plumber Zhasulan Alzhanov were sentenced Jan. 9 in Kazakhstan’s northern Akmola Region, according to Forum 18. They were released Jan. 11.

The two were among more than 60 Baptists fined in Kazakhstan in 2013 who refused to pay fines in an act of civil disobedience. They are part of the Council of Churches Baptists, which argues that compulsory state registration of religious exercise violates religious freedom protections in Kazakhstan’s constitution and international human-rights obligations.

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