Kazakh Church Run Camp Raided by Officials.

Forum 18 News Service is reporting that, on 30th July this year, a church-run children’s camp near Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, AlmOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaty, was raided by about 20 officials, including police and Prosecutor’s Office officials.

Pastor Sergei Li of Kapshagai Baptist Church told Forum 18, “Officials questioned the {children} without the presence of their parents. One seven-year old girl was frightened and cried, and after that I told them to stop questioning the children.” Police questioning of children and organisers lasted from morning until late evening.

After the raid, the authorities handed material, including video footage, to the local media, alleging that the camp organisers, including foreign workers, were teaching religion “illegally” and without the knowledge of parents. The media included these claims in television broadcasts and online reports, to the outrage and distress of church members.

Several parents, including one church member who was in the camp when it was raided, told Forum 18 that they were “fully satisfied with the Church” over the conduct of the camp, and that “they gave their permission for giving their children the English lessons”.

According to the TV channel, police “detained South Korean and American citizens who had, under the guise of free English courses, arranged a Bible camp without special permission.”

Pastor Li objected to the allegations, and told Forum 18: “All the parents knew very well that the children will be taught on the basis of the Bible and they also gave their written permission. All the parents are Church members, except one woman who is not a member but started attending the Church recently. She also gave her written permission.”

Pastor Li noted that the foreigners who had been helping with the camp were not obstructed from leaving the country, but police had returned their passports to them after questioning on 30th July.

  • Pray for the Kazakh Church, as it comes under increasing pressure from the government. Pray that the church will be united, act with wisdom and be a positive witness to the people of Kazakhstan.
  • Pray for Pastors to lead their people with wisdom and integrity, and for the Church to grow strong in faith and numbers.
  • Pray for the Kazakh government to see the Church as a positive influence in their country, and to allow freedom of worship for all ages.

1 Corinthians 16 vs 13: “ Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong

Source: http://www.forum18.org

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