Kazakh police raid evangelical church


CNLNews, 25 March 2016


On 25 March, police in Almaty began searches in the homes of evangelical Christians and in the New Life church.


"Today the whole protestant world recalls Passion Friday, when Roman officers crucified Jesus, and he died, and afterward was taken down from the cross. Friends, on Passion Friday, today, right now, two days before the feast of Pascha, searches were begun in homes of protestant believers. At this minute, officers of special services are conducting a search of homes of ministers and the pastor of the New Life church of the city of Almaty. Right Now! Serious persecution of Christians of Kazakhstan has begun. Pray and inform others. Share information," the founder of CNL Maksim Maksimov wrote on his Facebook page, noting that so far there are five known places where searches are being conducted.


According to reports, employees of the church were forced to leave their work stations and stand out on the street. Computers were confiscated.


Larisa Maksimova reported that during the search in their home, the police seized summaries that she had made in Bible school in Sweden in 1991.


"The search has finished in the home of Sergei Zaikin; a copy of a report was not provided; his rights were not explained and no defense lawyer was offered. Documents were seized. The search is continuing in my home," Maksim Maksimov commented on the situation.


At the present time, on the Youtube channel and the Internet site of "House of Faith" a live broadcast devoted to the situation is going on.


Enormous request to all believers to join in prayer!

(tr. by PDS, posted 27 March 2016)




To an inquiry by Azattyk in the press service of the Department for Internal Affairs of the city of Almaty as to what was the basis for this morning's search in the office of the "New Life" church in Almaty and at the residences of its leaders, the answer was given that the search was conducted because of suspicion of fraud. The commentary of the authorities says that a criminal case was opened in late July 2015 on the basis of the article "Fraud on a large scale."


In July 2015, offices of internal affairs of the city of Almaty received complaints from three parishioners of the New Life church about "fraudulent acquisition by pastors of large sums of money and movable and immovable property taken under the pretense of contributions," the press service's report says. It was reported that in connection with this, on 29 July 2015 a pre-trial investigation on suspicion of the commission of fraud on a large scale by leaders of the New Life church of the city of Almaty had been begun, and is being conducted at the present time.


"In order to verify testimony of witnesses and victims, searches have been conducted with a court warrant in places of the maintenance of financial document of the aforesaid association. As a result, pertinent substantive evidence has been discovered and confiscated in a procedural manner. The pre-trial investigation is continuing," the press service of the internal affairs department confirms.


This morning searches were conducted in the office of the New Life church in Almaty and also in the residences of Pastor Larisa Maksimova and leader of the church, Sergey Zaikin. In the evening Sergey Zaikin reported that none of the ministers of the church had been arrested and that during the search only computers and documentation were seized.


The office of the New Life church in Almaty and the house of worship of the church are located in the former House of Culture of the former Almaty Electrotechnological factory. Sergey Zaikin told Azettyk that the church had undergone reregistration in accordance with the new law on religious associations, and that it is operating, as before, on legal bases. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 March 2016)

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