A Baptist preacher from Kazakhstan, Yklas Kabduakasov (56), was released from prison on 2 October.
He was convicted in August 2015 of religious extremism and illegal distribution of religious materials, and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in a labour camp for ‘inciting religious hatred’.
Christians in Kazakhstan believe that Kabduakasov was targeted for his conversion from Islam to Christianity and for sharing the gospel with other Muslims. They believe that the secret police are using these intimidation tactics because they want to make Kabduakasov an example and send a message to all Kazakhs that they will face a similar fate if they convert to Christianity.
After his conversion from Islam, the former boxer and security guard fearlessly shared the gospel with his family and friends.
He was arrested on 14 August 2015, after secret police searched his home and confiscated Christian books. The church where he worshipped was also searched the same day. According to the investigation, Yklas held lectures for students of the Eurasian University from November 2014 to August 2015 in a rented apartment in Astana.
Yklas returns home to a wife and eight children, including a new baby who was born after his arrest. A number of churches, individual believers and different organisations, including Open Doors, supported his family during his imprisonment.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs; Open Doors
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.