Date: December 22, 2022
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report:
Kazakhstan Issue Update – This report provides an overview of Kazakhstan’s religion law and its recent amendments to that law, and details how authorities use this legislation to target and regulate religious groups. Amendments passed in December 2021 did not reflect Kazakhstan’s engagement with the U.S. government on religious freedom reform and failed to meaningfully improve the space for religious freedom in the country. The report concludes with policy recommendations for the U.S. government to continue to promote religious freedom in the context of its bilateral relationship with Kazakhstan, as the latter plans additional amendments to its religion law.
In its 2022 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S. Department of State include Kazakhstan on its Special Watch List for engaging in severe violations of religious freedom. An episode of the USCIRF Spotlight Podcast discussed Kazakhstan’s regulation of religion and continued imprisonment of five Muslim men sentenced for participating in a WhatsApp group chat about Islam.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at