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The Reality of Religious Freedom in Kazakhstan

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14.07.2017

For those whose impressions of Kazakhstan’s domestic religious situation come solely from public relations whitewash, the country might appear a multiconfessional bastion in a region rocked by fundamentalism. Indeed, playing up the country’s apparent pursuit of religious freedom is one of the key aspects of Astana’s international spin; hence, why the country hosts the World Religious Congress, a multifaith grouping nominally dedicated to “constructive interreligious dialogue.”

However, any claims toward putative freedoms of religion in Kazakhstan have clearly crumbled over the past few years. Like political or press freedoms before it, religious freedom in Kazakhstan has only constricted over the prior decade. Following notorious 2011 legislation that........

© The Diplomat