The following resources detail the context, local perspectives, and capacity strengthening opportunities in Kazakhstan as they relate to religious & ethnic freedom.
Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia, gained independence in 1991 and operates under a unitary state with a presidential form of government. Religion holds significant importance in Kazakhstan, with about 70% of the population identifying as Muslim and a notable Christian minority. Non-believers or atheists account for 18.8% of the population. While the country’s legal framework guarantees freedom and human rights, including religious freedom, there are laws and regulations that impose restrictions on religious activities and associations, falling short of meeting international legal obligations and standards.
Although violence against religious groups is not widely reported, instances of discrimination and persecution do exist. Christians from a Muslim background often face pressure and occasional physical violence from their communities. Counterterrorism efforts in the country have primarily targeted radical Islamic influence, while interethnic tensions have occasionally led to clashes and violence.
Structural violations of religious freedom in Kazakhstan encompass discriminatory norms, restrictions on worship and religious activities, limitations on proselytism, censorship of religious materials, and challenges in the registration processes for religious organizations. Registration issues particularly affect various religious communities, with a complex, burdensome, and arbitrary process. Non-Hanafi Muslim associations often encounter difficulties, and some minority groups have faced attempts to confiscate their property.
The document on this page is an excerpt. For the full situational analysis (which analyzes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and the Philippines), please click here.
This brief provides program designers, implementers and evaluators in the Religious and Ethnic Freedom space with practical insights and examples of locally developed indicators using the Grounded Accountability Model (GAM). It outlines the various ways representatives of local organizations and religious minorities perceive religious and ethnic freedom.
This brief aims to provide valuable insights into the institutional and staff capacity needs, strengths, and challenges faced by local partners in the context of promoting religious and ethnic freedoms in the Asia region.
For more resources on Asia Religious & Ethnic Freedom, click here.
This resource was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of Search for Common Ground and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.