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One Third Of Kazakh Religious Groups And Organizations To Be Shut Down

Kairat Lama Sharif, the head of Kazakhstan's Agency On Religions
The chief of Kazakhstan's Agency on Religions says one third of the country's religious organizations will be shut down soon.

Qairat Lama Sharif made the statement in Almaty on October 12 at a roundtable meeting on the implementation of Kazakhstan’s new law on religions, which requires the re-registration of all religious groups in the country.

Sharif said the legislation, adopted a year ago, will help prevent "the use of religion for destructive purposes."

The Kazakh parliament initiated the new 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.

A number of security operations against radical Islamists and trials of alleged religious extremists followed the incident.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Novosti-Kazakhstan