12 December 2018

BELARUS: Fined for singing, offering religious literature

Police stopped a Baptist husband and wife from singing and offering Christian literature outside Lepel's market. "We were detained like criminals and brought to the police station," Andrei Fokin complained. A court fined the couple one month's average wages each. Bailiffs are seeking to confiscate property and ban him from driving. [read more...]

11 December 2018

BELARUS: Order not to register new religious communities?

"We want to comply with the law and gather for religious meetings without fear of raids, fines or detentions," says Pastor Vyacheslav Novakovsky of Your Will Be Done Church. A Minsk official involved in the four registration rejections since 2017 told him of "an order from superiors not to register any new communities". She refused to explain this to Forum 18. [read more...]

7 December 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: Second long jailing for online Islamic talks

A court jailed 28-year-old father of one Dadash Mazhenov for over seven years for posting Islamic talks online, the second jailing by the same court. The secret police claimed the talks promoted terrorism, which both men reject. The judge sought to have Mazhenov's lawyer punished for "correctly defending the interests of his client". [read more...]

5 December 2018

UZBEKISTAN: "Illegal Christian Wahhabi activity"

Police raided Protestants enjoying a meal, searching the home without a warrant, confiscating a New Testament. Officials tried to pressure one guest to accuse the host and the pastor of holding "unauthorised religious meetings", threatening to take her two children and ordering her mother-in-law to beat her. [read more...]

29 November 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Military raids Baptists, Church ordered closed

For the first time Uzbekistan's military has raided Tashkent Baptists meeting for worship. Asked why the military were involved, officials said "it is a special operation". Police threatened Baptists they "will come every Sunday and disrupt the Church service every time until we give up and stop our activity". [read more...]

28 November 2018

CRIMEA: Up to 10 years' jail for Muslims, Jehovah's Witness?

In "extremism" criminal cases opened by Russia's FSB in occupied Crimea, four Muslims face imminent trial, while Jehovah's Witness Sergei Filatov is under investigation. They face up to 10 years' jail. The Muslims "simply gathered in the local mosque to discuss religious questions", a lawyer stated. "We simply ask the authorities to respect our rights to meet together and read the Bible," Filatov told Forum 18. [read more...]

23 November 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Raids, large fines, torturers and thieves unpunished

After a 19 November raid, Protestants are threatened with prosecution for having legally-bought religious literature. Officials who in September tortured Protestants and thieves who stole property from them remain unpunished. And 16 male police officers together "humiliated and pressured" a 19-year-old female Jehovah's Witness. [read more...]

12 November 2018

KYRGYZSTAN: "The attackers are in freedom"

After an attack on a young Protestant leaving him seriously hospitalised, members of many religious communities have anonymously expressed concern at attacks and the impunity the authorities appear to give attackers. "Eldos is in hospital, and the attackers are in freedom", his lawyer commented. [read more...]