Freeing belief communities from state interference "a mistake"

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Freeing belief communities from state interference "a mistake"

A meeting chaired by Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev has described as a "mistake" the constitutionally-enshrined "distancing state bodies from regulating processes in the religious sphere". Following the meeting, a presidential Decree prepares the way for increased state control over the Muslim Board, reports Forum 18 News Service.

The Decree also announces the preparation of legal changes. One Kyrgyz commentator told Forum 18 News Service that "many of the proposals emerging now contradict the Constitution".

The commentator – who asked not to be identified – stated that "many religious communities are afraid that under any new legal changes they will be stripped of state registration." Despite the proposed heavy state controls over various aspects of the Muslim Board, its press secretary Asan Saipov told Forum 18 that "our government doesn't seek to control us". Asked why the Muslim Board could not choose its own leaders and verify their qualifications without state interference, Saipov responded: "The state needs to know who the imams are and where they were educated".

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TAGS: Almazbek Atambayev mistake religious sphere presidential Decree Muslim Board increased state control

[02/28/2014] Print Version

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