APRIL 2, 2019
From May 11 to November 10, 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kazakhstan invited their neighbors to seven open houses, which they held in select cities throughout the country. These events provided an opportunity for government officials, journalists, and academics, along with the public, to learn about Jehovah’s Witnesses. In total, over 1,500 people attended.
The open houses were hosted at Kingdom Halls in the cities of Öskemen, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Semey, Shymkent, Taldyqorghan, and Taraz. Attendees enjoyed displays detailing the history of our activities in Kazakhstan, which began as far back as 1892. Displays also highlighted more modern achievements, such as the release of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Kazakh in 2014.
Brother Bekzat Smagulov, who works with the Legal Department and Public Information Desk at the Kazakhstan branch, comments on the benefits: “These open-house events were well-received by our neighbors and helped them gain an accurate picture of who we are. Among the notable visitors were officials from the Department of Religious Affairs and journalists from the Kazakhstan-Öskemen news outlet, the Rudnyi Altai newspaper, and the Semei Vesti newspaper.”
At the open house in Taldyqorghan, the administrative center of the Almaty region, the brothers welcomed the head of the Regional Department of Religious Affairs and two other officials from the department. Also in attendance was the editor-in-chief of the Zhetysu Dialog newspaper, who later published an article based on interviews with some of the volunteers at the event.
Additionally, our brothers and sisters distributed over 560 copies of the New World Translation in both Kazakh and Russian, the principal languages of Kazakhstan. We appreciate the positive results of these arrangements, which bring praise to Jehovah and allow our neighbors to see our “fine works.”—Matthew 5:16.
In Qaraghandy, Sister Saniya Akhmetzhanova communicates in sign language with a visiting deaf couple about our efforts to provide Bible education to deaf people.
Two young children watch the video Protect Your Children in Russian at the open house in Qaraghandy.
Brother Lev Gladyshev explains the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kazakhstan to officials who visited the open house in Qaraghandy, including the secretary of the local parliament, Kudaibergen Beksultanov; the chief specialist of the Department of Analysis of the Religious Situation, Nikolay Sarsenbayev; and the head of the Department of Religious Affairs of the Qaraghandy region, Nurlan Bikenov.
Sister Aisha Yakovleva explains the various features of the JW Library® app to a couple visiting the open house in Taldyqorghan.
Brother Aleksey Alyoshin shows visitors at the Taraz open house how God’s name has appeared in literary works and on different artifacts throughout history.
At the open house in Öskemen, Brother Sergey Petkevich holds an older issue of The Watchtower in Russian, as he explains the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kazakhstan. Among the guests who attended the open house was the head of the Edinstvo public association, Sergey Lebedev.
Brother Georgiy Pismenoy (right) converses with a neighbor visiting the open house in Qostanay. Attendees were able to watch video footage of a 1982 trial involving three brothers and one sister from Qostanay who were found guilty of possessing, producing, and distributing our literature, which was banned at the time. Brother Pismenoy was one of the three brothers sentenced to two-and-a-half years of hard labor. He shared with attendees his experience in prison.
Visitors were welcomed by musicians playing instruments, including the Kazakh dombra (pictured far left and far right), at the open house in Shymkent.
Brothers and sisters who volunteered to help with the open-house event in Qaraghandy.