Astana, November 9, 2011
Large organizations will be able to pass the forthcoming re-registration of religious public organizations in Kazakhstan, said Amanbek Mukashev of the National Center of Culture and Religions at the country's state agency for religious affairs.
"There is a view that more than half of the currently operating 4,500 public organizations will fail to pass it. This is not so. I think the elimination rate will be around 20%," he said in an interview with Interfax.
At the same time, large religious organizations in Kazakhstan, in particular, scientologists and Krishna followers, will manage to pass the forthcoming re-registration without major difficulties, the expert said.
"I think there will be no ban [of the re-registration by the authorities]. The legislation does not aim to ban the activity of some undesirable or dubious public organizations," Mukashev said.
He also cited the statistics as at January 1, 2011, whereby there are 4,479 religious public organizations in Kazakhstan, including 2,756 Muslim, 1,256 Protestant, 303 Christian Orthodox, 87 Catholic, 27 Jewish and five Buddhist ones.
In addition, there are 284 registered missionaries in Kazakhstan.
On October 25, Kazakhstan introduced a new law regarding religious activity and religious organizations.
The law prompted a mixed public reaction. A number of human rights organizations, including international, voiced their concern over the document passed by the Kazakh parliament.
Kazakhstan's population is over 16.5 million people.