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List Of Kazakh Religious Groups Curbed

The chief of Kazakhstan's Agency on Religions says the number of religious groups allowed in the denominations has been shortened dramatically from 46 to 17.

The reduction is the result of a re-registration process that ended this week.

Qairat Lama Sharif said on October 25 that one-third of all religious groups in Kazakhstan have been shut down.

The Spiritual Directorate of Kazakhstan's Muslims has 2,228 mosques legally operating in the country.

Subjects of faiths such as Judaism, Buddhism, and Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity were allowed to re-register.

Of 666 protestant churches, 204 will be closed.

The Kazakh Parliament initiated the law on religions last year after a resident of the northwestern city of Aqtobe carried out what was described as the first-ever suicide bombing in Kazakhstan in May 2011.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Kazinform