Because Pavel Leonov refused to pay a fine equivalent to about two months' average salary, for leading a religious community without state permission in East Kazakhstan, the Baptist Pastor was jailed for 24 hours, Forum 18 News Service notes.
As he still refuses to pay, police on 28 October opened a criminal case against him. He now faces a possible maximum punishment of one year's imprisonment. Pastor Leonov is one of more than 100 people known to have been fined in 2013 for, among other "offences": leading or participating in religious meetings without state permission; sharing their faith with others without being personally registered as "missionaries"; or distributing religious literature away from state-licensed venues.
Fines are typically one or two months average salary, the most recent known fines having been imposed on Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Hare Krishna devotees. Also, the activities of Kostanai's Hare Krishna community has been ordered to be stopped for three months. This was subsequently overturned on appeal. A Prosecutor's Office official told Forum 18 that: "It's not the Soviet system. This is the Kazakh system."