International Christian Concern
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Innocent Pastor Imprisoned and tortured by U.S. Ally
International Christian Concern Launches A.C.T. Campaign to Secure His Release
November 7, 2013
Bakhytzhat Kashkumbayev (Pastor B.K.), a Christian pastor, has been wrongly imprisoned and tortured by the government of Kazakhstan for his Christian activities, including his role in the conversion of a young congregant from Islam to Christianity. Laughably, he was initially accused of lacing her communion wine with hallucinogens.
Pastor B.K. was initially arrested on May 17, however, as a result of international ridicule and the fact that Pastor B.K. was approaching the maximum limit of pre-trial detention under Kazakh law, the authorities released him only to re-arrest him moments later on the more serious charges of propagating terrorism/extremism.
ICC sources report that Pastor B.K. has been subjected to "Soviet-style psychological examinations" and tell us that "it is only because of international attention that Pastor B.K. has not been killed."
Pastor B.K. has now been imprisoned without a hearing for 182 days. He is 67 years old, and in failing health. He is subjected to regular abuse. The human rights organization International Christian Concern (ICC), today launched a campaign to pressure the Kazakh government to immediately release Pastor B.K., so that he may reunite with his family and receive the medical attention he desperately needs.
ICC has set up a landing page with and overview of Pastor B.K.'s case. ICC is calling upon all supporters of religious freedom to A.C.T. on behalf of Pastor B.K.
(Awareness): Join the "Free Pastor B.K." facebook page (www.facebook.com/FreePastorB.K.) and tweet for his release using the hastag: #FreePastorB.K.
(Contact): Contact Kazakhstan Embassy officials and demand his release.
(Take): Take a "selfie" (picture) with an "I stand with Pastor B.K." sign, then upload it to the facebook page. The Free Pastor B.K. page has all the information activists will need in order to advocate for his release.
ICC President Jeff King adds that "Kazakhstan is a key American ally in Central Asia, particularly in regional security and energy cooperation. The U.S. Government has close ties with Astana, and we believe that an outcry over Pastor B.K.'s treatment will not fall on deaf ears." President Obama recently endorsed Kazakhstan's bid to join the World Trade Organization, and Kazakhstan has received over 2 billion dollars in American aid since independence from the former Soviet Union in 1992.
Previously, ICC submitted a petition with signatories from over 75 countries demanding freedom for Pastor B.K.. ICC continues to work closely with the State Department and other human rights organizations to leverage American influence towards ending Pastor B.K.'s persecution.
[Editor's note: Jeff King, President of ICC, is an internationally recognized expert on the persecution of minority religious communities and is the author of Islam Uncensored (Amazon). ICC is located on the Web at www.persecution.org. He is available for interview, and all of our resources are at your disposal to assist with coverage of this story. Recent photos and video are also available, as well as well-placed primary sources. Click here for additional information.]
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You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.