Forum 18 News Service: By Mushfig Bayram,
The enforced closure of the Ahmadi Muslim community in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty leaves the community unable to worship legally anywhere in the country, community members lamented to Forum 18 News Service. Their place of worship was closed amid a continuing official campaign against religious communities which use private homes for religious worship and followed a fine by Land Inspectors.
Community member Nurym Taibek told Forum 18 they see no point in appealing against the decision and said that they “have given up hope” of resuming worship in their building. The Ahmadi Muslim community’s place of worship in Shymkent was forcibly closed in 2011. Also threatened by Land Inspectors is a small Methodist Church which meets in a private home in Taldykorgan near Almaty, the Church’s legal address. The home owner was fined in April. Land Inspectors from both Almaty City and Almaty Region defended their moves to Forum 18. They said they are inspecting all religious communities’ properties to see if properties and land are used for their proper purpose.
Public religious worship by the Ahmadi Muslim community has been forced to stop throughout Kazakhstan as they no longer have anywhere they can legally meet, community members lamented to Forum 18 News Service. The Ahmadi Muslim community in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty was forced to close on 2 March after being fined by Land Inspectors for using a private home for religious worship.