Kyrgyzstan Approves Restrictive Religion Law

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) - Kyrgyzstan has shrugged off U.S. concerns and adopted an amended law that will strengthen state
control over religious groups.

Government media report that the legislation will strongly curtail missionary activity in the mostly Muslim Central Asian nation. It prohibits the dissemination of religious literature in public places and requires religious communities to register more than 200 adult members before they can operate legally.

A government newspaper reports that Kyrgyzstan's president signed the legislation Monday and it took effect immediately. His approval came days after several prominent U.S. lawmakers said the legislation would "severely restrict freedom of religion" and urged a veto.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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