BEAVERTON, Oregon, January 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
The Orthodox Times has published an article by Jelena Rakocevic on the current situation in the religious sphere in the Republic of Kazakhstan. According to the author, latest Government legislative initiatives in the area arouse significant concern, and the new bill with amendments to the laws on religious activities and associations proposed by the Government, if it passes, will exacerbate the situation even further.
To read the full article, published January 18, click here: https://orthotimes.org/2018/01/18/religious-buildings-in-kazakhstan-to-be-labeled-16/#prettyPhoto
The proposed changes are meant to contain the spread of religious extremism in the country, but in order to achieve this goal the authorities want to severely restrain any and all religious activity in Kazakhstan, including the traditional religious confessions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The bill forbids children under the age of 16 from attending mosques, churches and synagogues if unaccompanied by one of the parents and without written consent of another parent. Consequently, it de facto bans all activities, such as excursions or summer camps, organized by religious communities as well as entitles parents to restrict the right of their children under 16 to freely choose their faith. The responsibility for maintaining the restriction on teenagers attending churches falls to the clergy, who are to be punished by law if an "illegal" under 16 is found on their premises, making it necessary for the priests to actually work on alienating the young generations, not trying to draw them in as they normally do.
Jelena Rakocevic points out these and other alarming and unintended consequences of the proposed law, including inadvertently pushing the youth toward extremist ideologies made more attractive compared to their peaceful competition, needlessly restricted and formalized.
SOURCE The Orthodox Times